A key focus of this new partnership will be on building effective responses to the findings in the National Working Family Survey, which found the competing pressures of working and caring were impacting the wellbeing of Australian families, even before the additional pressures of coronavirus occurred. Collectively, we have published a new set of nine family-friendly workplace recommendations designed to provide employers with a guide on how best to support their employees at this time that it hopes the business community will embrace.
“Working parents and their families are facing unique challenges under COVID-19 restrictions,” said Emma Walsh, CEO of Parents at Work. “It’s more important than ever right now for businesses to invest in policies and practices that support working families to help ensure those businesses are resistant to shock and able to ‘build back better’ once our economy gets back on track.”
“This partnership aims to advocate for better outcomes for working parents and the businesses they work for right now, but also after the coronavirus crisis eases. This is all about embracing the future of work, recognising that the health and wellbeing of families is critical to business recovery and success. Bridging the work and family divide post COVID-19 involves employers, government, community services and families working together to build a pathway for recovery – the health and wellbeing of individuals, their families and our economy depends on it.”
Nicole Breeze, Director of Australian Programs at UNICEF Australia says supporting employees with families is critical for children too.
“The first years of a child’s life have a profound effect on their future – on their brain development, their ability to learn in school, on their health and wellbeing and even on their lifetime earnings. Being a parent or caregiver is one of the most important jobs in the world. UNICEF works with Governments and businesses around the world to help develop policies that give parents the time and support that they need to raise happy and healthy children. The evidence shows that as well as leading to healthier, better educated children, family friendly workplace policies can also drive gender equality and economic growth. The business benefits are also well documented including better workforce productivity and the ability to attract, motivate and retain employees.”
Karitane CEO Grainne O’Loughlin said it was critical to support parents and families at this difficult time for so many.