20 Reasons Why Progressive Organisations Start Working Parent Programs


  1. It costs the Australian economy an estimated $24 billion per annum due to parents stressing and dealing with family issues at work. 80% of this productivity loss is not visible.
  2. Many working parents are unsatisfied with their work-life balance with some reducing participation or opting out completely. The impact of the work life squeeze can also mean busy parents are more likely to experience burnout and less likely to feel they have the time and confidence to pursue more senior career opportunities.
  3. Workplaces and managers struggle to deliver effective learning and coaching programs to support employees with parental leave transition and ongoing work-life management. There are no internal parental leave educational programs and HR lack time and resources to provide.
  4. 10% lower staff turnover for companies with family friendly work places strategies
  5. Paid parental leave is over-relied on to retain and keep primary carers engaged in the parental transition period
  6. Job design and workplace culture make flexible work a challenge in reality for many
  7. 48% of organisations have offered to pay primary carers’ leave. Only 53% of women return to work after paid or unpaid maternity leave.
  8. According to WGEA less companies are providing non-leave based measures to support employees with caring responsibilities. 4% of Employers offered a return to work bonus, while 8.3% offered coaching for employees returning to work from parental leave.
  9. Managers are ill-equipped to support parents transition to leave and managing work life balance
  10. In Australia, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men experience discrimination in the first year of parenthood or during pregnancy.
  11. There is a 23.1% gender pay gap (total remuneration) with men earning $26,853 more than women. 16.3% of CEO’s are women, with only 6.1% of all managers employed on a part-time basis.
  12. Many employers in Australia are not running at desired capacity due to inadequate family friendly policies and practices. Only 13.2% of employers have a strategy for supporting caring responsibilities (Workplace Gender Equality Agency).
  13. $340 is the minimum cost per day to companies for an absent employee. 92 million working days are lost due to absenteeism in Australia per annum.
  14. Over 63% of working parents reported loosing out on over $10,000 lost earnings over the last year because of commitments to family. Also, the career pain is being felt by the younger working parent generation.
  15. Nearly half of men and women said they would take a job with less money if it were more family friendly and flexible. What’s more 25% of men are feeling trapped in their workplace – they want to move jobs for more family flexible work but feel they can’t.
  16. It is estimated Australian employees are absent from work for an average of 9.5 days each year the cost to the economy is approximately $33 billion per annum.
  17. Informal carers provided an estimated 1.9 billion hours of care in 2015. The replacement value of care provided by non-primary carers is $16.6 billion per annum. 1 in 8 Australians (2.86 million people) are estimated to be providing informal care.
  18. Data shows the leadership pipeline isn’t working: women struggle to get past the lowest levels of management and they occupy only a quarter of positions in the top three levels of management.  Women comprise only 26.1% of key management positions, and 17.3% of CEO positions.  The 2014 Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI) – The Persistent Challenge: Living, Working and Caring in Australia in 20
  19. Only 15% of fathers request flexibility. AWALI 2014 report titled The Persistent Challenge: Living, Working and Caring in Australia in 2014
  20. Consequences of negative experience through a caring transition can include: “higher absenteeism, lower productivity, higher staff turnover, subsequent recruitment and training costs, as well as reputational damage.” National Prevalence Survey, Human Rights Commission.


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