Family-friendly work practices
Family friendly workplaces
What constitutes family-friendly policies?
The benefits of a family inclusive workplace
How to create a family-friendly workplace
- Paid parental leave: Perhaps the most common family-friendly work practice. This involves offering paid parental leave to both primary and secondary caregivers, beyond the government legislated allowance.
- Unpaid parental leave: Most Australian employees are entitled to a certain period of unpaid leave when they become new parents. Employers can also offer the option for additional periods of unpaid leave in recognition that there are times when older children, not only newborns, need a parent to be fully present.
- Keep-in-touch days: These days allow managers to stay in touch with employees while they are taking time out to be with their families. This means the connection is retained between employee and employer and makes it easier for them once the time comes to return to work.
- Flexible working hours: Flexible working hours allows an employee to alter the hours they work, such as by shifting their start and finish times or negotiating a part-time arrangement. There is a growing understanding that as long as an employee meets the set outputs required and makes time to connect with the team more broadly, the hours they work to outside of that can be dictated by their home life and care-giving responsibilities.
- Remote working: Shutdowns during the height of the pandemic demonstrated that working remotely can work. This way of working has become a standard that all workers now expect, especially caregivers as they look to balance work and family responsibilities. As businesses and employees negotiate the terms of remote working as suits their team's needs, it's important to ensure that managers understand how to manage a remote employee and what caveats you may need in place. And that employees clearly understand the commitments asked of them. Remote working helps provide the support parents and caregivers need to balance their work with caring responsibilities
- Employee assistance programs: An Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, offers support and assistance for a range of work-related issues, including for caregivers struggling to address work and family commitment conflicts. Make sure all employees are made aware of how to access yours.
- Mental health support: Caregivers can face a range of unique challenges, regardless of who they are providing care to. Offering continuous mental health support at work will help keep their mental wellbeing on track