One year since the launch of Family Friendly Workplaces by UNICEF Australia and Parents at Work, 70 employers have been officially certified as a ‘Family Inclusive Workplace’ from hundreds of applicants.
Marking the anniversary today during National Families Week, the certification means these workplaces meet key standards around being inclusive for families, including providing greater access to flexibility and family leave provisions.
It’s an initiative considered essential for families coping with the pressures of the pandemic, but vital still now and into the future as employees continue to recover from the stress of the past two years, and organisations work harder to secure talent and meet the needs of modern families.
There are nine ASX 200 companies in the group of 70, as well as major firms, key household brands and government agencies certified.
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The National Work + Family Standards provide a benchmark for employers, offering best practice guidelines enabling employees to meet their work, family and wellbeing needs. The initiative received federal government funding to expand to help support another 500 workplaces over the next three years, helping businesses of all sizes to meet the standards required to see them become certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace.
Parents At Work CEO Emma Walsh says she’s thrilled that so many employers have embraced the push to promote policies and practices that support families to combine their work and caring responsibilities.
“The future of work will be more family-friendly for thousands of employees as a result,” she said.
“And that’s good news not just for individual employees and their families but also for businesses keen to attract and retain talent, improve gender equality and drive greater engagement.”
The inititive enables all workplaces regardless of whether they’re ready to be certified, the ability to identify best practices for being more family inclusive, alongside standards they can strive to meet.
But even those employers that are already certified continue to extend their policies.
Deloitte Australia, which was certified in May 2021 as a founding member, moved to make further enhancements to its gender equal parental leave policy in March this year, to include performance target relief for parents returning from parental leave for 12 months, as well additional support payments.
“We know that close to 40% of the people who work with us have caring responsibilities, and that’s why we are so focused on making work work for families,” Pip Dexter, executive talent and lead partner at Deloitte said.
UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart said they are particularly pleased with the response, especially given the stress of the past couple of years on parents and carers.
“Australian parents and caregivers have been under enormous pressure to balance the demands of work and family over recent years, and this has been exacerbated by the challenges of COVID-19 creating knock on challenges for children,” he said.
“We are so pleased to see employers taking action to help reduce stress and improve family wellbeing. If we can reduce pressures on parents, there is no doubt the benefits will also be experienced by children.”
The 70 employers official certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace™ include:
- Art Processors
- BMS Risk Solutions
- CatholicCare Sydney
- Colin Biggers & Paisley
- Comcast NBC Universal
- Commonwealth Bank
- CHU Underwriting Agencies
- Clayton Utz
- Department of Regional NSW
- Endeavour Energy
- Grant Thornton
- Hudson Institute of Medical Research
- IKEA Australia
- ING Australia
- Investa Property
- Jemena & Zinfra
- KFC South Pacific (Yum! Brands)
- L’Oréal Australia
- Marsh Australia
- Netwealth Investments
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Oliver Wyman
- Ooh! Media
- PepsiCo ANZ
- Pernod Ricard Winemakers
- QBE Insurance
- QLD Department of Education
- Randstad RiseSmart
- RES Australia
- Sydney Airport
- The NRMA
- Transport for NSW
- UNICEF Australia
- Volvo Car Australia
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.