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Adjust the Balance

Partnership information


WLB image

The DP has been formed to help develop Work Life Balance (WLB) strategies in arenas not hitherto engaged with WLB.  This marks a complete change from the usual single focus on childcare issues.  

The DP’s partners have included statutory, public, private, voluntary and community organisations.  Employers engaged with the partnership have ranged from sole traders through to organisations employing 4,000+ employees. The DP has also been well represented by partners from FE, HEIs and the TUC. The DP has been developing and implementing a regional strategy for WLB, building and expanding on existing sub-regional networks; coordinating disparate WLB polices and practices; and disseminating good practice outcomes in innovation, partnership working, equal opportunities, empowerment and building the business case for WLB.
 The work of the DP contributes to the Government’s aim of encourage employers to adopt practices that suit their businesses and employees, recognising that employees have different needs at different stages of their life.  This strategy acknowledges that people work best if they can achieve appropriate balance between work and other aspects of their lives

The main aims of Adjust the Balance have been to demonstrate the power of WLB approaches, to promote inclusive working practices and to facilitate the adaptability of companies in the West Midlands region to adopt WLB strategies.   There has also been a strong focus on the applicability of the regional work to inform national and European policy.

The specific objectives have been to:

  • Raise the importance of WLB on the national agenda
  • Broaden the WLB agenda
  • Raise WLB as a social, political and business issue

In both the domestic and transnational projects the focus of activity has been to:

  • Establish action research projects to feed into employer engagement pilots
  • Develop common assessment criteria for best business awards
  • Work with SMEs to develop flexible, responsive working practices.  

Target groups

In addition, the partnership has been targeting those SMEs without dedicated HR support in order to help them to develop WLB policies and practices.

Video interviews

Academic Conference - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 1.9 MB
Aspiration of the Project - Amanda Wright, DP Co-ordinator 5.6 MB
Balancing Business Project - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 3.1 MB
Beneficiary Experience - Jo Baker, Beneficiary 1.4 MB
Beneficiary Success - Amanda Wright, DP Co-ordinator 6 MB
Broader Agenda of Work Life Balance - Amanda Wright , DP Co-ordinator 2.8 MB
Business Case for Work Life Balance - Amanda Wright, DP Co-ordinator 2.8 MB
Challenges of Partnership Working - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 2.6 MB
Continued Support - Hazel Charlton, Beneficiary 2.2 MB
Empowerment - Hazel Charlton, Beneficiary 4.3 MB
Empowerment - Marie Felton, Beneficiary 4.6 MB
Engagement - Amanda Wright, DP Co-ordinator 1.8 MB
Innovation - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 2.6 MB
Local Mainstreaming - Anabela Ferreira, Partner Staff 4 MB
Mainstreaming - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 1.9 MB
Measuring Soft Outcomes - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 4.6 MB
Message for Mainstreaming - Anabela Ferreira, Partner Staff 3.3 MB
National and International Mainstreaming - Anabela Ferreira, Partner Staff 2.7 MB
New Approach - Anabela Ferreira, Partner Staff 1.5 MB
Partnership and Innovation - Amanda Wright, DP Co-ordinator 7.7 MB
Purpose of the Project - Anabela Ferreira, Partner Staff 4.1 MB
Recommendation for Future Strategy - Amanda Wright, DP Co-ordinator 4.7 MB
Soft Outcomes - Anabela Ferreira, Partner Staff 4.4 MB
Support Mechanism - Hazel Charlton, Jo Baker, Julie Burrell 5.6 MB
Supporting New Business - Marie Felton, Beneficiary 3.1 MB
Supportive Partnership - Jo Baker, Beneficiary 1.3 MB
Sustainability - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 1 4.3 MB
Transnational Working - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 2.7 MB
Working with SMEs - Amanda Wright, DP Co-ordinator 2.3 MB
Worklife Balance - Anita Pickerden, DP Evaluator 1.1 MB



Round 1 to Round 2

In Round 1 Birmingham and Solihull Learning and Skills Council was the lead body for the DP FORWARD and has carried some key personnel and experience through into running the Round 2 partnership.

Transnational partnerships


Will Cowburn, Learning and Skills Council Birmingham and Solihull, , Amanda Wright, Learning and Skills Council Birmingham and Solihull,


Action 2: 31 December 2007
Action 3: 31 December 2007

Equal theme

Adaptability to work


Adjust the Balance has its origins in the Work Life Balance Task Groups of the Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships (EYDCP) in and around Birmingham. Organisations in the tasks groups came together and broadened to include other organisations in the wider West Midlands.


Employed in large firms, Employed in SMEs, Labour market returnees, Lone parents and people with care responsibilities, Women

Intended impact/ sustainability

Adjust the Balance has built a partnership which has immense potential to impact on process, practice and policy at all levels from the local to European. The DP has been engaged in a wide variety of activities regarding process, developing and implementing good practice, developing products to support the activities, undertaking baseline and action research. A specific aim of the DP is to develop and implement an effective regional strategy for WLB, which informs and influences national and international policy.

Scatter plot

Process X
Practice X X
Product X X
Policy X X X X
City Local Regional National European


The DP has enabled organisations to come together to work on a joint agenda to influence local practice and policy. The DP has established collaborative partnerships in order to highlight and share best practice, sharing and promoting an understanding of what work life balance is in business terms.


Many projects within the DP have developed models of successful practice to support individuals and businesses at local and regional level.


One project within the DP is running a series of workshops for women who wish to start their own businesses on a part time basis. Transnational partners in Italy are very interested in establishing a similar facility in Southern Italy.


There is a wealth of toolkits, websites, research tools, forums, workshops, training events etc which will be available to local and regional organisations as a result of EQUAL.


Many products will be developed through EQUAL which will continue to influence the WLB agenda for many yeaars to come. One example is the Work-life balance Foundation Degree being developed by Staffordshire University.


One example of research into the potential impact of an activity on local policy is a project running workshops on managing workplace stress. An early finding is that that the workshops are in great demand. Follow up work will establish the extent to which the continuing needs of these employees are being addressed by developing plans regarding Work Life Balance policies.


A key aim of the DP is to shape the regional strategy for WLB.


A key objective of the DP is to raise the importance of WLB as a business, social and political issue on the National agenda.


Transnational work is planned which will make explicit links between the work undertaken by the Transnational Partnership and National and European Policy to demonstrate the impact of the TNP.

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Activities and products

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