family friendly focus
The family friendly focus is quickly gaining traction across Australia. Image – Canva
  • CBA, Deloitte and QBE are among the first to adopt new 'Family Friendly Workplace' standards
  • The initiative was launched as a part National Families Week (15-21 May)
  • The initiative comes with a pandemic-induced refocus on family

Several of Australia’s largest employers have already taken steps to adopt the new ‘Family Friendly Workplaces‘ standards.

Over 20 companies from various industry groups have embraced the idea, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Deloitte, QBE, Novartis and Randstad RiseSmart.

These organisations will be the first to receive the official ‘Family Friendly Workplace’ certification.

The initiative launched by UNICEF Australia and Parents at Work aims to improve Australia’s work flexibility and reduce work-life tension.

Ann Sherry, UNICEF Australia Chair encouraged Australian companies to back the movement.

“The flow on effects of this initiative are significant – we know that family friendly workplace practices can really help to boost the wellbeing of children and carers in working families.”

Ann Sherry, UNICEF Australia Chair

“They also promote inclusion and gender equity, increased workforce participation for women and caring opportunities for men. The productivity gains are not just for individual businesses, but for the wider economy,” she said.

The initiative was guided by Parents at Work endorsed research which found a post-pandemic shift in focus on the importance of work-life balance. But companies themselves have also reported a COVID-induced change in work and family attitudes.

“The struggle of the juggle is very real!

Our parenting services have seen a 135% increase in demand with the pandemic, with the number three reason for referral being mental health related.”

Grainne O’Loughlin, Karitane CEO

According to Alan Docherty, The CBA’s Chief Financial Officer there is an obligation for companies like the CBA to support employees with a diverse range of caring responsibilities and family needs.

“When people with diverse family needs feel supported in their workplace, not only do they benefit but their families and the broader community benefits too,” 

Alan Docherty, The CBA’s Chief Financial Officer

“As one of Australia’s largest employers, we have an important role to play fostering a culture of care, equality and respect so that our people can be at their best at work and at home, ” Mr Docherty said, speaking on a panel hosted by media commentator Annabel Crabb.

“It’s not just the right thing to do, it makes perfect business sense, with family friendly workplaces delivering positive outcomes for society, business, our economy, and our families.” 

Frank Costigan, QBE Australia Interim Managing Director

Organisations can find out more and express interest in ‘Family Friendly Workplaces’ at their website.

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