“We know that one in five new mums and one in ten new dads will experience perinatal anxiety and depression, so the important support systems from workplaces, as we enter steady state COVID, remain as vital as ever.
“The struggle of the juggle is very real and the value of parent-child interaction, especially during the early developmental years cannot be undervalued. It’s so important for working mums and dads to be able to also fulfill caring responsibilities without feeling guilt in either territory – it is crucial for their own mental health as well as for their child’s future wellbeing.”
New research surveying Australian employees who experienced working from home since COVID-19 reported 42% feel work versus family demands effect their relationships with their children. However, 65% of respondents admitted their workplace is now more understanding of the work/life juggle. In fact, three in four (74%) reported improved flexible work arrangements compared to pre-pandemic.
UNICEF Chair Ann Sherry AO urged Australian businesses to get behind Family Friendly Workplaces: “We know that family friendly workplace practices can really help to boost the wellbeing of children and carers in working families. 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.”
Concerningly however, 41% of employees think their commitment to the job will be questioned if they make use of these flexible arrangements, showcasing a clear disconnect between employers and working families.
Parents At Work CEO, Emma Walsh said: “Due to COVID-19 the chasm between employees work and home life is no longer invisible, creating expectation and urgency for a transformative change in Australian workplace culture,” Walsh said.
Karitane is proud to be amongst the first national adopters of Family Friendly Workplaces, alongside AGL, APRA, Commonwealth Bank, Deloitte, Genea, HESTA, HSBC, IBM, ING, KidsCo, KPMG, Macquarie Group, Medibank, Microsoft, NBCUniversal, Norton Rose Fulbright, Novartis, QBE, oOh Media, PEXA, Randstad RiseSmart.
Grainne O’Loughlin added: “At Karitane, we’ve seen first-hand how a family friendly workplace delivers tangible benefits including better workforce productivity, improved wellbeing and equality outcomes, greater inclusion, improved brand reputation, and the ability to attract, engage, and retain employees.”
We are a not-for-profit organisation and our purpose is to support parents during the first 2,000 days of their child’s life. The first five years are a critical time for physical, cognitive, social and emotional development which shapes a child’s future. Supporting parents is what we do, but is also very much who we are.