At Pernod Ricard Winemakers, we are committed to creating work environments where people feel comfortable to truly be themselves and confident to share who they are with the people they work with. Fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone has access to the same resources, opportunities and rewards is an important part of our commitment to valuing our people. Being a family-friendly workplace is aligned to this commitment and ensures we continue to create a workplace culture that enables all employees to balance work and family responsibilities.
Introduced in 2022, the Pernod Ricard Carers Policy and Support Guide has been very well received. With over 2.65 million carers across Australia, more than half of carers provide up to 20 hours of unpaid care per week. It is therefore important that we support employees who combine work and caring responsibilities by fostering a flexible mindset. An open and flexible mindset is important to creating a supportive culture for all carers.
Often carers need to provide both proactive and reactive support to the individual they are caring for. Managers play an important role in creating a supportive culture so employees feel comfortable raising and discussing their caring responsibilities. Creating a flexible working environment and asking what support carers need is key to developing this culture.
We have seen a very positive impact for employees since the introduction of the Carers Policy as the initiative has encouraged employees to balance caregiving responsibilities with work. The adjustments in work hours and the availability of leave options, along with the understanding and support from teams and managers, showcase the effectiveness of the initiative in creating a conducive and supportive work environment.
Being a family-inclusive organisation not only improves the wellbeing of employees by reducing stress but has also led to better business outcomes such as improved productivity, increased job satisfaction and reduced absenteeism and costs associated to employee turnover and recruitment. Our Flexible Working Policy, Parental Leave Policy and Carers Policy all encourage a balance of family life and work commitments, and you can see that employees appreciate this flexibility.
In the rush of our daily lives, we often overlook the heroes who quietly stand by their loved ones, providing unwavering care and support. Long-time Pernod Ricard employee, Kim Kickel shares her experience as a carer and how the PRW Carers Policy and Support Guide has provided the flexibility that she has needed while taking care of her elderly parents.
Kim’s Story – A Journey of Care and Compassion
About a year before my beloved Dad passed away, I began assisting my elderly parents with various tasks – accompanying them to appointments, managing bills, and sharing comforting meals. It was a way to give back, and it didn’t take much from my schedule, I managed by using annual leave when needed.
But everything changed four years ago when Dad left us. As time passed, my dear Mum’s mobility declined, and she battled persistent chronic pain. Gradually, she leaned on me more for help with her daily activities. The challenges multiplied, and my role as a caregiver deepened.
As well as one day every weekend, I continued to use my annual leave days to cram as many appointments, phone calls and ‘life admin’ tasks for Mum as I could but soon found myself cleared out. It wasn’t until I opened up to my manager about my situation that I became aware of the flexible leave arrangements available through the Pernod Ricard Carers Policy and Support Guide.
On this caregiving journey, having a supportive workplace became a lifeline. Being able to have flexibility with my work hours so that I can attend appointments, make, or receive personal phone calls, deal with banks, doctors, Government agencies etc. It helped my stress levels immensely, knowing that my manager and the teams I support were understanding of the situation.
We are fortunate to work with supportive teams and being part of a culture of people looking out for each other, being able to discuss these challenges without it being frowned upon for taking so much time off and being able to openly communicate with understanding was immensely valuable to me.