The National Work and Family Awards have been run as an Australian Government and business partnership since 1992. They are the only national awards which focus exclusively on work and family achievements in the workplace.

The Awards recognise private, public and community sector organisations with outstanding flexible working arrangements that meet the needs of the business and its employees.

Winners were judged on their flexible work practices, including how they are incorporated into daily business operations; whether they are effectively communicated to staff; and how they assist in the achievement of positive business and employee outcomes.
Some of the flexible practices by winning organisations include:

  • Flexible start and finish times
  • Flexible working days
  • Paid time off during school holidays for employees with children
  • Employee nominated hours of work
  • Employees banking additional hours worked for paid leave
  • Compressed working weeks
  • Meetings preferred between 9 am and 4 pm
  • Casual dress
  • Telecommuting
  • Paid carer's leave
  • Paid special leave for an ‘urgent pressing necessity’
  • Employee assistance program
  • Job sharing options
The common message emerging from the winning organisations is that working with employees to balance work and family is good for employees, employers and for business.

This has assisted organisations to retain valuable employees, reduce turnover costs, improved staff morale and customer satisfaction.

Employees interviewed by the judging panel reported significant benefits arising from their family friendly working arrangements, including lower stress levels, greater morale and job satisfaction and importantly, improved quality of life with their families.

Winning organisations identified a range of business benefits such as greater staff retention, lower staff turnover, increased productivity, lower employee absence days, a higher rate of return from maternity leave and increased customer satisfaction through their work and family policies.
 
For information about the awards, see the Federal Government’s Fairwork Commission's website https://www.fwc.gov.au
 
For a summary of the benefits of carer-friendly workplaces for employers and how to implement them, see the Fact Sheet in our For Employers section, Carers and Work.