It’s the kind of family friendly set up that most working mums crave. An understanding boss who lets you fit in your working hours around your family and children, who gives you the most flexible hours either at home or in the office, and who treats you as a valued member of her team.
It’s a situation that has existed at Isuzu Truck UK since Nikki King OBE, set up the company 15 years ago. Babies who were brought into the office before they could walk are now the confident teenagers who provide summer cover at the company. Whether a child is off colour and needs day off school, or mum needs to spend the day at home, Isuzu Truck offers a unique option, even more so given that trucks are such a male-dominated industry.
With a teachers’ strike looming on Wednesday November 30th and school closures, Nikki sent out an email to her staff 10 days ago inviting them to bring their children into the office on that day because she realised that finding childcare at short notice and especially in these circumstance is difficult for working parents. Nikki says, “A teachers’ strike is not going to stop us. We have always been supportive of our working mums and have always had an open house policy for children. When they are here in a working office environment they are always so well behaved and just get on with studying or work play.
“I said if there was another teachers’ strike, after the disruption it caused parents earlier this year, we would open up our boardroom for playing DVDs and our training room for school work, reading, puzzles, colouring, sticker books and board games. We’ll take care of everyone, from the youngest up to teenagers and give them a delicious lunch as well. Their parents will be on hand to monitor them and also be relieved that they don’t have to cope with bored frustrated children.”
“Each child will bring in their school workbooks so that they can continue with school work on that day, especially the older ones who will have IT access. Workbooks for the little ones will be available for letter formation, reading, spelling and maths. A day rota will be set up so that a member of staff will work in rooms with the children throughout the day in 90 minute periods. Only staff who have been CRB checked will be able to do this.
Concludes Nikki: “The overall objective of the day is to allow the parents to work, with business as usual while the schoolchildren can continue with their work too – and have a little fun of course!