Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK on helping employers develop returner programmes

Helen Lamprell

Helen Lamprell, General Counsel & External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is proud to support Returners: A toolkit for employers. Returners are people with work experience who have taken a career break, and are now interested in restarting their careers. We are all familiar with the issue of people, sometimes but not always women, leaving the workforce. This can happen after the birth of a second child, when an elderly relative needs caring for, or when one person in the family’s job means it is just too hard for both people to work.

At Vodafone, we believe that stepping off the career path should not have to be a permanent decision. As children grow up, many people want to return to work, but sometimes they don’t know how. That is why we launched ReConnect, a programme to attract, hire and retain returners. Through ReConnect we’ve seen first-hand the benefits of hiring returners, and the positive impact that re-joining the workplace can have on them, as well as on our business.

We understand that making the transition back into work can be daunting. It’s important to have the right resources and systems in place, so that we can provide support where it is needed. We are keen to share what we’ve learned, and to learn from other employers, so that we can all do more to help people back into work.

That is why, together with the Women’s Business Council and Government Equalities Office, we have created Returners: A toolkit for employers, which we hope will be a useful starting point for businesses that want to develop returner programmes. Based on guidance from Timewise and Women Returners, this toolkit contains best practices and advice, from deciding what type of returner programme to offer and how to recruit candidates to supporting returners once they have been hired.

This toolkit also features insights from returners and employers that have run returner programmes, including Golin and Enfield Council, as well as Vodafone. As these case studies show, returner programmes offer real benefits to employees and employers alike, across a wide variety of sectors, from public to private, and from SMEs to large businesses.

With this toolkit, we hope to encourage even more employers to develop returner programmes of their own. You can help us to spread the word by sharing this Toolkit on social media, using the hashtag #returners. Together, we can help more people return to work when the time is right for them.

Find out more about Returners: A toolkit for employers here.

Helen Lamprell, a Women’s Business Council member, is General Counsel & External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK.