EY’s focus on flexible working across the UK
When it comes to flexible working and flexible hiring, EY is certainly blazing a trail. It recognises that many talented people, such as those who have caring responsibilities, need to work flexibly whilst pursuing their professional ambitions.
EY’s approach to flexible working approach runs across the UK, where the firm has 24 offices, including 19 that are outside of London. As Bob Ward, EY’s North West Senior Partner explains:
“At EY, flexible working has become the way we do business – it is part of our culture. We empower our people to decide how, when and where they work, we also advertise all of our roles as ‘open to flexibility’.”
Flexibility doesn’t just mean employees tweaking their hours, or working from home from time to time.
“Putting greater emphasis on flexible job design – tailoring each role to the actual needs of the business,” in Bob’s words, is the way for organisations to make flexible working a real success for employers and employees alike.
A can-do attitude to making flexibility work - Victoria's story
One employee who has personal experience of the firm’s flexible approach is Victoria Price. A Partner in EY’s Tax practice, who works across its Manchester and Liverpool offices, she found the support for flexibility that she needed when she joined the firm:
“I had two children and wanted to be able to work part-time. I had interviews with other large firms but it was EY who said ‘Yes, we can make that work’. They introduced me to people who were already working part-time, and these examples were all I needed to know it could be a reality.
“I’ve worked three days a week for most of my career, and now work four and a half, but it hasn’t held me back. I progressed my career whilst working flexibly, becoming a partner nearly three years ago.”
Victoria also cares for her 96-year old Grandmother, who has dementia and is partially sighted. Her flexible working arrangement allows her to attend medical appointments with her and manage her care.
At EY, flexible working is for everyone - Tiraneh's story
Tiraneh Tehranchian, a Manager in Risk in EY’s Financial Services Advisory practice, returned to work via the firm’s returnship programme EY Reconnect. Shortly after taking a break from her career as a senior leader in risk management in the asset management sector, Tiraneh’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“One day my father went missing for nearly eight hours. When he was found he had walked over eight miles during the day and had injured his hip so badly he needed surgery. I dropped everything, including the FX trading I had been doing and helped to rehabilitate him post-surgery. I became his full-time carer for three months, attending all of his medical appointments, doing daily physiotherapy and supporting my mother through the process.
“In 2017, a couple of years after my father’s surgery, I felt things had settled enough for me to consider returning to work. The EY Reconnect scheme was a perfect bridge back into consultancy work for me.”
Since joining the firm on a permanent contract in December, Tiraneh has a flexible working arrangement working a nine day-fortnight. “It helps me to continue my career, whilst managing my responsibilities outside of work. I also have the comfort of knowing that if my father’s condition deteriorates I know my employer will be supportive,” said Tiraneh.
So while there still aren’t enough flexible and part-time jobs for everyone who needs one, it’s reassuring to see large employers like EY standing up to be counted and driving change across the UK.
This article has been written in association with EY, one of our Timewise Partners.