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
How do the Work & Family Standards Drive Best Practice?
CEO | ING Australia
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 Flexible Work, Parental Leave, Leadership Culture, Family Care, Family Wellbeing and Measurement.
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 framework of Family Friendly Workplaces as a guide. The Standards are continuously improved to promote inclusivity, to increase specificity to guide employers towards their goal of building a family-friendly workplace, and to enhance alignment with the Social Impact Framework.
For organisations interested in being certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace, criteria has been developed under each standard which enables organisations to benchmark their progress, areas of strength, and areas for improvement.
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.
Leaders of the organisation are enabled to embed a family-friendly workplace culture.
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.
Measurement enables assessment and amendment of organisational strategy, policies and practices to sustain this workplace culture.