Shortlisted from around 350 other entries Together Housing Group are finalists in the Employer of the Year category, a joint award by Housing Heroes Awards and Women in Housing Awards in recognition of their inclusive environment where individuals and teams can succeed and thrive.

With a transgender policy, smart working initiatives and many women in senior leadership roles, Together Housing is a diverse and family friendly organisation that offers a range of inclusive practices. A ‘smart agile’ way of working was introduced in the pandemic which enables employees to work around their external commitments, working whenever and wherever they need to, bespoke to each service area. Smart agile working has opened work opportunities for people who may otherwise face barriers to accessing the workplace such as those with disabilities or caring responsibilities, particularly women.

Emma Tomkinson, Assistant Director of People Services at Together Housing Group, said, “We are very proud to have been shortlisted and recognised for the flexibility and inclusivity we provide our employees. Colleagues can work to the best of their ability without historic time constraints and through our wide range of rewards and benefits and employee conscious policies we are creating a culture of understanding and high performance.”

Together Housing offers a range of products and interventions to help employees reduce stress and manage their physical, mental and financial well-being. In addition to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which offers a confidential helpline, counselling and individual health care plan including access to an online GP 24/7, the organisation now has its own occupational health nurse and a team of qualified Mental Health First Aiders, as well as many other benefits.

Kevin Ruth, Chief Executive of Together Housing Group, explained: “It’s very important we create a culture where our employees know that they are our greatest asset. Investing in staff training and development is at the heart of Together Housing and we offer all staff the opportunity to upskill. In recent years we have gone on to increase the number of women in senior positions, including at Director level. I’m very pleased that we have been shortlisted in the joint ‘Employer of the Year’ category at these prestigious awards.”

A staff survey carried out found: 95% of colleagues are ‘very happy’ with current working patterns and work/life balance, 90% are happier now than pre-covid and sickness absence has also fallen by a huge 38% overall.

The awards ceremony will take place, in person, on Monday 27th June 2022 at Manchester Central and will celebrate the unsung heroes of the housing sector, the leaders, innovators and changemakers, shining a light on the incredible work carried out in the past 12 months. Organised by Inside Housing the Housing Heroes Awards and Women in Housing Awards will take place side by side at the opening ceremony of Europe’s largest housing festival – Housing 2022.