These days, working while raising children is increasingly common. According to the ABS Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, 62% of coupled parents work, while 60% of single parents work. What’s more, 90% of dads with children under 15 are employed, meaning the vast majority of Australian fathers are juggling work and parenting commitments in tandem. Here are just some of the ways Australian businesses should be looking to create a supportive environment for working dads.
Offer flexible working arrangements
Many working dads know that when it comes to raising kids, unexpected commitments can pop up at any time. The babysitter might call in sick during the school holidays, your child could be unwell and need to go to the doctor, or any number of other scenarios could happen when you least expect it. Introducing flexible working arrangements such as flexible working hours or work-from-home policies can make a huge difference in helping working fathers manage their lives and, ultimately, be more committed to their work.
Implement generous paid paternal leave policies
Currently, in Australia, working dads are entitled to two weeks’ paid leave. However, Australian businesses are seeing the value in going above and beyond the minimum to provide employees with more generous parental leave policies. Paid paternal leave offers fathers the chance to take time off work to bond with their child and provide parenting support during the early stages of a child’s life when parental care is most needed.
Provide on-site childcare assistance
Childcare is a costly necessity for most Australian working parents, but businesses can help ease the burden by providing on-site childcare facilities – making it quicker and easier for working dads to organise getting their kids to childcare. Bonus schemes for new fathers can also help with childcare costs and improve retention rates of new dads – a mutually beneficial initiative for fathers and businesses.
Offer organisational support
Finding the right balance between work life and home life has always been a challenge, but never more so than for working fathers today. Businesses should look to enlist the help of work-life integration services that assist working dads with parental leave, finding appropriate childcare and schools, and managing their workload. Adopting a holistic approach to supporting working dads means they’ll have more time to focus on their work responsibilities and perform better at their jobs.
Provide return-to-work coaching opportunities
With extended paternal leave becoming more and more common, it’s important for companies to offer support and coaching in transitioning back to work. Ongoing training and engagement techniques can help working fathers balance family and career more effectively and, in turn, be more productive in the workplace.
If you’re a working dad looking for job opportunities at parent-friendly organisations, talk to a Michael Page recruitment specialist.