On Friday 8th September, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, teamed up with the organisation Family Friendly Working Scotland to hold a breakfast briefing event on the value of promoting flexible working practices.

The event was hosted in Irvine by global healthcare company GSK and was attended by local business leaders and those working in human resources and business development from local authorities and health boards.

Attendees heard from inspirational Ayrshire business leaders about their innovative approaches to family friendly working, including Jackie Hamilton, Senior Manager for Employment at North Ayrshire Council; Jim Gallagher, Managing Director of Gallagher Healthcare Limited, which operates a group of community pharmacies in North Ayrshire, and Victoria Edwards, CEO of Irvine based VOCA call-centre.

These speeches were followed by a lively round table discussion, where attendees were able to engage with the experts and the Ayrshire business leaders that have embedded a family friendly approach in their organisation, and are reaping the rewards.

Commenting, Ruth said:

“Businesses that accommodate family friendly working experience the benefits of more loyal, motivated and productive staff – and a happier and healthier working environment.

It was a real pleasure to host this event in partnership with Family Friendly Working Scotland and to have the opportunity to showcase some of the exemplary practice in North Ayrshire – from North Ayrshire Council to local businesses such as VOCA and Gallagher healthcare.

I also hope that this morning’s inspiring speakers will have encouraged other businesses to adopt family friendly working practices.

I am grateful to GSK for hosting this event, and to all those who took the time to take part and share their own experiences and insights.”

Lisa Gallagher, joint Programme Director of Family Friendly Working Scotland, added:

“This was our first-ever employer event in North Ayrshire. We were delighted to hear from a range of local employers about what benefits implementing a flexible working culture has brought to their business.

We learned that often it can take just the small adjustments to working patterns to make the difference to people’s lives, which in turn enhances their loyalty and productivity which is a real business benefit.

Thank you so much to Ruth and GSK for their support in co-ordinating this event with us. We look forward to continued engagement with employers in the area.”