Spurred by shocking statistics last year that exposed 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men experience discrimination during pregnancy, parental leave and the return to work period  the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has responded by launching a website for employers and employees to understand their legal obligations and entitlements better.
The new Government website – Supporting Working Parents – has been developed to help bridge the ‘gap between the law and education, and proper implementation’ of policies and practices that support employees with caring responsibilities.
The website includes “a compilation of leading practices and strategies being implemented in workplaces around the country to retain and support talented women and working parents,” said Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner.
At the launch, employers were commended on their intention to ‘do the right thing’ but it was highlighted that many simply ‘don’t know what to do’ and ‘need guidance’.
“The new website is a welcome resource that encourages organisations to act and implement better support for their working parents – the Government and AHRC are helping us raise the bar in Australian workplaces in all industry sectors,” says working parent expert, Emma Walsh, Managing Director of Parents@Work, who partners with companies globally to develop Parental Leave programmes for their employees that include coaching and training for managers and parents via an online customisable portal.
“We now have solid evidence we cannot hide from: 32% of Australian mothers who experience discrimination either look for another job or resigned and mothers who experience discrimination during pregnancy are much less likely to return to their job or even the workforce at all. These bleak consequences are costing our businesses, our economy and our employees tremendously. The thing is, it is preventable, which is why it’s so vital to provide employees and managers with the tools, training and resources they need.”
Customise your own Working Parents portal, training and coaching for your managers and parents by trialling the parents@work Portal here.
 AHRC, Launched today – toolkit to combat pregnancy discrimination, viewed 30.7.15