Date: 
Monday 29 February 2016
Image: 

Babies should be a reason for celebration, not discrimination.  Pregnancy, parental leave and return to work can be challenging for employers and employees. The Australian Human Rights Commission recognises this, and has put together a toolkit that offers effective, low cost and easy to deliver solutions.

There are almost 4 million Australians who have unpaid caring responsibilities and most of those people care for children. Supporting Working Parents offers information to businesses on compliance and legal obligations that can have added benefits to the bottom line, morale and help employers avoid tricky legal situations. As part of the suite of Supporting Working Parents resources developed by the Commission, today we are launching the Successful Strategies to Support Working Parents: A Guide for Employers – detailing ‘leading practices’ that go beyond minimum legal requirements.

“We know that if we reduce employment opportunities for parents, carers and women during pregnancy, the talent pool shrinks. So it makes good business sense to build corporate strategies and workplace solutions that allow these millions of employees opportunities to thrive” said Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs.

“The question is, how best can employers cater for the needs of families? A good place to start is communication and flexibility,” she said.

Australian and international research shows flexible work arrangements produces positive results including increased efficiency and outputs for employers irrespective of their size. Increased job satisfaction and lower absenteeism were also noted.

To find out how you can make a difference to Aussie families and the economy, go to supportingworkingparents.gov.au