But the pandemic has put unprecedented pressures on families, as they struggle to manage the competing priorities of caring for children and remaining in the workforce.
In 2020, 92 per cent of Australian employees wanted to access some form of flexible work arrangement when the pandemic ends, according to a Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) study.
In May 2021, UNICEF Australia and Parents At Work launched the Family Friendly Workplaces
initiative to introduce National Work and Family Standards for all Australian workplaces.
A year since the launch of Family Friendly Workplaces, 70 businesses and organisations have implemented policies that make a real difference for teams and families like inclusive paid parental leave, mental health support and flexibility for carers.
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Family Friendly Workplaces
shows 65 per cent of respondents recognise that both women and men were more likely to be approved for formal flexible working arrangements than before the pandemic.
What does a family friendly work place look like?
- The culture is one where working families and carers are supported to combine their work and family life commitments.
- The culture positively impacts the quality of work-life for every family and contributes to the wider health and wellbeing of our society and economy.
- It champions gender equality and makes it easy for men and women to lead productive personal and professional lives, particularly for women who carry the caring load.
- It supports and encourages both work and family commitments.
Did you know workplaces that support parents increase productivity and output while reducing stress, absenteeism and gender inequality. Seems like a no brainer, right?
Here in Australia, it’s incredible to see the steps many businesses have taken to invest in family friendly policies that support parents at every stage of their child’s life. This can be everything from later meeting start times to allow for school drop offs, to parental leave that prioritises shared roles.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, parenting has become even more demanding with the blurring of work and home boundaries, as well as home-schooling for many of Australia’s parents.
Is your workplace family friendly?