Work Matters Employers who demonstrate outstanding leadership and innovation from business in the promotion of a better balance between work and family in the workplace have been recognised by the National Work and Family Awards. The provisions offered by award winning employers and the benefits to both employees and employers may be of interest to carers seeking flexibility at work.

The awards, sponsored by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Council of Australia, have been made across a broad range of industries, including some in traditionally male-dominated areas.

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 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Casual dress
  • Telecommuting
  • Paid carers’ 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.

The winners

Gold Award – Private Sector – SC Johnson, NSW

Gold Award – Public Sector – University of South Australia, SA

Large Business Award – Greenslopes Private Hospital, Queensland

Medium Business Award – SC Johnson, NSW

Small Business Award – Austral Tree and Stump Services, SA

Rising Star Award – Acclaim Apprentices and Trainees, Queensland

Regional and Rural Award – Grampians Community Health Centre, Victoria

NSW finalists

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

H L Mullane

IGT ( Australia) Pty Ltd

HCM Global

Staff and Executive Resources

For more information

For information about the awards, see the Federal Government’s workplace site

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.

For more information about carers’ entitlements to carer-friendly work practices, see our Fact Sheet Your Rights at Work.

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