Supporting Working Parents & Carers for Workplaces of the Future

PRESS RELEASE July 4, 2019

A national study is being launched this month asking working parents and carers across Australia to provide feedback on how workplaces could be made more family friendly and gender equal when it comes to sharing the caring load.

Parenting education providers, Parents At Work and Karitane have teamed up with corporate Australia and researchers from two Australian universities. This nation-wide survey will gather new evidence about how Australian families are balancing work and care and what is needed to improve the juggle.

The survey covers a wide range of important issues directly relevant to working families including parental leave support, flexible work needs, child care and overall challenges experienced when managing their job and caring demands.

Why is this survey important?

The aim of the survey is designed to understand how workplaces can better address ways of combining work with care responsibilities. The outcomes of this survey will help inform policies and programs needed to create more inclusive, family friendly workplaces.

Grainne O’Loughlin, CEO, Karitane comments: “The struggle of the juggle is very real! Parenting can be stressful and with the added pressures of working it can have a profound impact on the individual as a parent and also as an employee. Have your say and help us to design innovative solutions that support parents in the workplace.”

Annabel Crabb, Writer/Presenter, ABC and Author of a forthcoming Quarterly Essay about fathers and work adds: “This is such an important and under-explored area of research. Australian families don’t really function any more in the way workplaces have traditionally expected them to. The more we know about the hidden world of the Australian home, the better the world of work can adapt to bring some real equality for families struggling to balance the two.”

About the collaboration

The 2019 National Working Families Survey is a not for profit initiative spearheaded by Parents At Work, Karitane, Deloitte, QBE, Baker McKenzie, KPMG, Westpac, IKEA and HSBC. These organisations form part of the Advancing Parental Leave Equality Network (APLEN) with the survey being its first initiative since its inception in early 2019.

Emma Walsh, CEO, Parents At Work comments: “The collaboration of this survey is significant – it tells us that businesses across Australia are ready to take their support for families and the community to a new level. The commitment to understand families’ needs will allow organisations to design jobs and workplaces that value a parent or carer’s dual roles as well as raise the importance of all aspects of ‘the village’ – including the business community – in raising the next generation.”

Who can participate?

Families of all shapes and sizes are invited to participate. This is an inclusive survey and input from parents of all genders and all types of families is highly valued, this includes mothers and fathers of young children (0-18 years), working in a range of occupations and industries nationally as well as any carers who spend a significant of time looking after children.

Share the survey

A video has been produced to help encourage families to complete the survey to help shape the future of work and family policy. The video includes appearances from CEOs and key influencers from around Australia including: Emma Walsh, CEO, Parents at Work; Grainne O’Loughlin, CEO, Karitane; Richard Deutsch, CEO, Deloitte Australia; Vivek Bhatia, CEO, QBE; Anthony Foley, National Managing Partner, Baker McKenzie Australia; Gary Wingrove, CEO, KPMG; Noel McNamara, Acting CEO, HSBC; Deborah Yates, National Managing Partner – People, Performance & Culture, KPMG; Arabella Gibson, CEO, The Gidget Foundation and leading Australian family researcher Professor Richard Fletcher, Family Action Centre, The University of Newcastle.

We encourage all businesses, community organisations, advocacy groups – anyone with a link to parents or carers – to share the survey to ensure a significant number of participants which will better inform the report findings.

Link to the National Working Families Survey:

For more information about APLEN contact:

Emma Walsh
Chief Executive Officer, Parents At Work

Or visit

For more information about the survey contact:

Dr Amanda Cooklin Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe University

For media enquiries contact:

Nicki Ferguson Head of Marketing, Parents At Work