Tania Marston is bp’s diversity, equity and inclusion talent attraction lead and also co-chair of bp’s UK Working Families employee business resource group. We chat with her about her favourite UK family-friendly benefits, and how they enable her to balance her day job, her employee group committee and family responsibilities.
How have you personally benefitted from bp’s UK family-friendly benefits?
As a working mother of four, I’ve benefited so much from the support available at bp for working parents. When pregnant, I attended the onsite expectant parents’ course as well as using priority parking. I’ve used the generous maternity leave policy twice.
What support did you get when returning to work following maternity leave?
Whilst on maternity leave I used keeping in touch (KIT) days and at the end of my maternity leave I was able to use my carry-over annual leave and bank holidays to transition back to work. Since then, bp introduced six weeks’ child time leave in the UK – which is exceptional. I use my unplanned time out days, which is really helpful in supporting my own well-being – particularly with having a large family and working full-time.
Which are your favorite family-friendly benefits?
There are just so many that I benefit from. My children went to bp’s subsidized on-site nursery (Sunbury, UK). I could even pop over to see them during my lunch. I use the subsidized back-up care for emergency childcare support and my children have also enjoyed going to the bp Sunbury site summer holiday clubs. I also regularly use the private medical insurance and private GP for my children – I’ve even got appointments during the night, which is really re-assuring.
As a busy working mother, which UK discretionary benefits have helped you spend more time with the family?
I use my annual wellbeing allowance to enjoy fun times with my children – we’ve enjoyed ice-skating, trip to Lapland UK, Winter Wonderland and Windsor Light Show. My children come along to family onsite events where they’ve enjoyed face-painting, fair games, ice-creams and performances. They’ve also popped in for breakfast and lunch, and enjoyed playing on some of our onsite games – pool, air hockey, basketball etc.
And what UK discretionary benefits enable you to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
I’ve used our Employee Assistance Program for mental support to juggle life with my children, and also use the Headspace app (free for employees and their families). I take advantage of what’s on offer such as onsite lunchtime yoga classes, running around Sunbury’s private lake and the subsidized onsite gym.
What other UK discretionary benefits are available for working parents at bp?
There are many other amazing benefits, such as our breastfeeding rooms, fertility treatment, fertility groups, menopause plan and support network – some of which, I’m sure I’ll benefit from in the future.
What made you decide to become co-chair of the Working Families Network?
I’m passionate about helping bp to be more of an inclusive work place for working families – raising awareness, providing support and helping to drive change to make work/life balance more manageable - plus having some fun along the way.
What initiatives are you involved in as the co-chair?
In support of aim 14 for greater diversity equity and inclusion for our workforce, I lead a committee and collectively we’re responsible for providing support, networking opportunities and resources tailored to our employee demographics’ needs to help balance work and family responsibilities. One of our biggest events is our Annual Working Families Awareness Week.
What recent achievements are you most proud of with the Working Families Network?
Working with our UK Policy team, we’ve introduced a new neonatal care and leave policy in the UK. With one of my children being born three months’ early needing neonatal care, I couldn’t be more delighted with the introduction of this new UK policy! Last year, I also hosted a senior panel session, which included our interim CEO and Working Families Executive Sponsor, Kate Thomson, on ‘creating harmony at home and work’. The session received some incredible employee feedback – particularly around the authenticity of our senior leaders supporting working families.