First broadcast on Tuesday, 21st February 2023

Back-to-Work Returner Schemes for effective employee re-integration after extended leave

Almost everyone needs to take at least a period of time off during their career – whether this be due to parental leave, health concerns, caring responsibilities, sabbaticals, secondment or general travel. In this online event, join us as we consider all the factors around managing extended leave and successfully re-integrating employees back into a working team.

What are the factors needed to ensure maximum inclusion and to foster a sense of belonging among staff? How should we tackle knowledge gaps and help employees to feel confident in their roles? How do you manage the dynamic of bringing old staff members back and avoid resentment brewing among newer staff?

In this session, join us to discuss how best to accommodate a returning employee, and determine the benefits and training needed to increase their confidence and ensure effective integration within the wider team.

Through hands-on discussion and active case studies, we will seek to determine best practice for meeting the individual needs of the employee, and design a programme to provide optimal support and flexibility to accommodate their physical, emotional or mental health needs. 


11:00am EST / 4:00pm GMT 

Back to Work Returner Schemes: Lessons Learned andTop Tips

    • Identifying the benefits of returner programmes for employers and employees alike
    • Leveraging the competitive advanatge for employers of reabsorbing experienced employees back into a business following an extended break
    • Gaining access to a new high-calibre talent pool and the advantages this brings
    • How to implement a new programme which helps avoid the female ‘brain drain’ and make the most of the skills, education and experience of older employees
    • Detailing different way s of creating programme frameworks for returners, including returnship short term contracts and supported hiring straight into key roles

Jodi Williams, Global Lead of Workplace, CallisonRTKL

11:30am EST / 4:30pm GMT 

Fireside Chat: Launching a Back-to-Work scheme for employee re-integration after extended leave

According to the UK government, 89% of people out of paid work caring for family or the home are female. Yet around three quarters of women aged 28-40 on a career break surveyed by Opportunity Now said they wanted to return to work at some point. Few organisations have targeted this group until recent years, but when they do, they get access to high-calibre employees.

      • How can you use a back-to-work returner programme to help tackle skill shortages?
      • How can returner programmes help to support the drive for diversity in terms of gender, age and cognitive ability?
      • What is the effect on the organisation as a whole of enabling a greater pool of individuals into the workforce? How can organisations benefit?
      • Can creating routes back to suitable-level roles help to create a viable choice for people to pause their careers and help to reduce the gender pay gap?
      • Top tips for building flexibility into returner programmes


Charlotte Richmond, Head of Employee Engagement & Wellbeing, Aiimi

Simran Bajwa, Director of Global Growth Markets, iRelaunch

Our Speakers

Simran Bajwa, Director of Global Growth Markets, iRelaunch

Simran joined iRelaunch as Director, Global Growth Markets in September 2022. Based in London – UK, Simran’s addition to the team has further expanded our international presence and fortified our position as truly global pioneers in the career re-entry space.

As a global HR leader, Simran brings diverse industry experience having held various leadership roles with multi-national organisations across the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and India. With her experience spanning across the HR spectrum within Talent Acquisition, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership Development and Talent Management, she has a deep appreciation for the diverse talent challenges faced by large global organisations. In addition, Simran’s client-centricity and passion to impact business results, make her a strategic business partner and trusted advisor to C-suite executives.

In her prior role at Cognizant, a Fortune 200 organization with 300,000 employees, Simran was instrumental in conceptualising and designing their global flagship Return to Work program, thus making her a trusted partner for firms seeking to establish or further enhance a global corporate return to work programme.

Jodi Williams, Global Lead of Workplace, CallisonRTKL

Sasha understands the commercial drivers behind reducing bias within the workplace and the critical need to promote and sustain inclusive workplace cultures, in order to attract and retain talent.

Sasha’s reputation has grown as an “international thought leader in diversity issues”.  She has appeared on the BBC, and has been published in The Times, The Guardian, City AM, The Lawyer, Law Gazette, Accountancy Age, Compliant, Personnel Today, and Recruiter magazine.

Sasha’s depth of experience at the ‘coal face’ of investment banking, combined with training in psychology and counselling, is a perfect fit for the markets emerging focus and commitment to inclusion and diversity.

In 2020, Sasha was included in the Global Diversity List, in the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultancies. “Scott was one of the first Diversity & Inclusion consultants, setting up her practice over 20 years ago. Scott and her team have worked in over 22 countries, training over 1,000,000 people.”

Sasha recently facilitated the SHE 2021 workshops for 7,000 professionals alongside speakers: Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton , Norway PM Erna Solberg, and Sadiq Kahn Mayor of London, and shared her unique perspective on EDI and actions for inclusiveness in a magazine article for SHE delegates. The Global Diversity Conference intersects the workplace, arts, media and sport.

Charlotte Richmond, Head of Employee Engagement & Wellbeing, Aiimi

As the Head of Employee Engagement and Wellbeing at Aiimi, Charlotte Richmond is responsible for ensuring that everyone within the organisation is receiving the correct advice, guidance and support.

She studied a degree in Mental Health, worked for a charity, studied a Masters in War and Psychiatry and fell into recruitment in 2012. She loved internal recruitment, being able to go through that journey with people and found seeing them grow in their role inspiring. 

Charlotte joined Aiimi in 2017 and was able to bring her passion for mental health and wellbeing to the workplace. She has been able to grow her knowledge and skills in these areas since, becoming an advocate for workplace wellbeing! 

Women at Work Digital Focus Day

What you will gain:

Flexible access to content

Our online conference portal offers a personalised content experience. You can join in with the sessions at work and on the go, live and on demand, and join in the conversation in-session with fellow attendees. 

An opportunity to make new contacts

After the learning, join us to meet speakers and fellow attendees and make new contacts at our exclusive after-show digital meetup.

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Thank you very much for an excellent and thought provoking conference. Many thanks to the team for organising such a great event.