As I close out for another year, in fact my 10th year running Parents At Work, my wish for 2018 is the same as it’s been for the last decade: I hope next year will be easier – the juggle I mean – for families everywhere. That is my New Year’s Resolution.
How can I, my husband, my friends, our community, our workplaces and our Government alleviate the everyday mounting pressure that confronts us as we raise our families whilst managing busy workloads? How do we make it so we’re not simply just surviving?
Make no mistake, our economy is relying on ‘the juggle’ to get better – it wants active participation of more mums and dads sharing the earning load so our nation can continue to grow. As with every year, this means we, as a society, need to rise to meet the challenges of what holds back working mums, dads and all those caring for others from fully participating? I’m not alone. We all need to find improved ways to share the caring load – for all our sakes.
A change for the better is in the air in Australian workplaces. As such Government policy needs to follow suit and carve out a vision to improve the way parents share parental leave, access flexible work and, balance work and family life.
This means championing gender equality around sharing the caring by normalising men taking parental leave and working flexibly.
Thank you Caitlin Fitzsimmons for promoting this problem and spurring on the conversation at a national level about the caring crisis that confronts Australia. We also love your article explaining the benefit of encouraging more men to take time off as part of the solution.
It’s not all been uphill this year. Some companies have made some great steps forward in addressing the issues . . .
Employers that have made progressive changes in 2017
Congratulations to the following companies determined to raise the bar this year to improve the way they support families:
- Deloitte – introduced flexible parental leave and Australia’s first return to work program
- Aurecom – introduced shared parental leave scheme up to 150% of salary as did Aurizon who incentivises men to take on primary care of their child
- Aecom – introduced up to 12 weeks holiday a year for parents
- PWC – made parental leave more flexible to access for men, women and foster carers
- AGL, Grant Thornton, Rea Group, Microsoft introduced 20 weeks + paid parental leave at full pay
I’m aiming for a family friendlier Australia in 2018 (and a longer congrats list) – what are you aiming for?
Emma Walsh, CEO, Parents At Work