National Work + Family Standards
Parents At Work and UNICEF Australia have united with industry and community leaders to develop National Work + Family Standards in a response to results of the National Working Families Report and the impact of COVID-19 on families and workplaces.
The aim in establishing standards is to:
on the importance of embracing family friendly policies and practices as an enabler of workplace diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing
that meet core standards and recognise those that go above and beyond as an Employer of Choice
to employers to foster a family friendly workplace culture
a sustainable way of providing employers with ongoing best practice work + family research, policies and guidance
Family Friendly policies contribute to:
- Improved wellbeing outcomes for employees, their children and other loved ones they care for
- Greater workforce participation of those with caring responsibilities
- Reduced carer-related discrimination
- Enhanced workplace productivity and engagement
- Improved gender equality outcomes
- Fostering a safe and inclusive workplace culture
DID YOU KNOW...
Development of the Standards
The National Work + Family Standards are represented across the following categories: Flexible Work; Parental Leave; Family Wellbeing; Family Care.
In reviewing these categories, it is critical that the Leadership culture supports Family Friendly Work policies and practices, and that the organisation Measures the effectiveness of their policies and practices, making changes to achieve maximum benefit for employees and the organisation.
The standards have been developed in line with best practice research with input from strategic partners, diversity and inclusion, family wellbeing and other policy experts.
Organisations are encouraged to review the standards and determine how they can adopt and enhance their policies and practices to effectively embed support for their employees and leaders, using the family friendly workplaces framework as a guide.
For those organisations wishing to be certified, criteria has been developed under each standard which enables organisations to benchmark their progress, areas of strength, and areas for improvement.
We understand the importance for organisations to be able to tailor their offerings to employees’ needs and have developed the standards in such a way which promotes flexibility for individualised, and contextualised support.
We would like to acknowledge that Australia’s First Nations people have cultural understandings of family and kinship and we are working under the advice of elders to ensure these are represented in the standards.
National Work + Family Standards
Flexible Work Standards
Embedded support for flexible work practices to enable employees to combine work with caring responsibilities
Parental Leave Standards
Embedded support for parental leave transition that is gender and family inclusive
A paid parental leave policy exists, is clearly communicated, is inclusive and accessible to all employees, regardless of gender and family types including same sex families. Policy may include provisions for paid Superannuation on unpaid leave, be flexible in how it is utilised and responds to support instances of pregnancy loss, and perinatal and post-natal anxiety and depression. There is a structured communication process in place for parents as they prepare for, leave on, during and return from parental leave, to facilitate connection with the organisation and make the transition easier.
Family Care Standards
Embedded support for employees when caring for their family
A carers support framework is available for all employees, inclusive of caring for children, dependants with a disability, mental or chronic illness, aged/elderly relatives. Paid and unpaid leave provisions are likely to be included. Emergency caring situations are supported and may include access to short notice leave or increased flexibility. Breastfeeding parents are provided paid breaks and access to an appropriate feeding space. Through promotion of caring support, organisations de-stigmatise caring responsibilities and promote inclusion.
Family Wellbeing Standards
Embedded support to promote wellbeing of employees and their families.
An organisation formally recognises the importance of mental health, physical and financial wellbeing in the workplace as part of their diversity, inclusion, health and safety policy or framework. Employees are provided with information on how to access support-based referral services. There are paid and unpaid leave provisions for employees experiencing family and domestic abuse or violence. The organisation proactively promotes awareness of the policy, the support made available to employees and formally denounces and acts on all forms of family and domestic abuse and violence.
Leadership Culture &
Leaders of the organisation are enabled to embed a family friendly workplace culture.
Measurement enables assessment and amendment of organisational strategy, policies and practices to sustain this workplace culture.
About the Certification Levels & Associated Standards
- A recognition framework enables organisations to be awarded either a Family Inclusive Workplace Certification or at the next level, as an Employer of Choice for Families.
- Employers are asked to complete a survey against certification criteria. Within the survey, questions are distinguished between Family Inclusive Workplace Certification and Employer of Choice for Families standards.
- The Family Inclusive Workplace certification recognises an employer that has achieved the National Work + Family Standards certification criteria and is working towards achievement of additional standards to enable a family friendly workplace culture.
- The Employer of Choice for Families recognises employers exceeding certification expectations and championing best practice achievement of the National Work + Family Standards.
- Employers awarded this recognition are considered leaders within industry, providing mentorship and inspiration to others to invest in a Family Friendly Workplace culture.
- The Family Inclusive Workplace Certification launches May 2021, with the Employer of Choice for Families to be offered in 2022. National Work + Family Standards for small business will be released in 2022.