this father’s day, aussies across the nation have called on employers to give their working dads the ultimate gift - time with their families.
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Giving time flexibility is a win-win for organisations seeking to attract and retain the best.
According to the 2019 employer brand research, which surveyed over 10,000 Australians, the number one attribute that makes a company attractive to employees and job seekers alike is positive work-life balance.
It should be concerning for Australian employers that within our recent survey looking at fathers at work, there are stark concerns from Aussie workers surrounding current parental leave practices.
- Most (7 in 10) believe employers need to do more to support dads after paternity leave.
- 71% of men said this was important to them
- This is significant because males only take up 2% of extended parental leave (more than two weeks off) in Australia.
- Nearly two-thirds (59%) of those surveyed agreed that achieving a balance between caring for a new child and earning a living is the number one pressure men face post-baby
- A lack of paid leave and flexible working arrangements comes in at a close second (55%)
- Juggling their newfound work-life balance as they manage new family responsibilities is third on the list
I see daily how my husband balances his commitments as a husband, colleague and father. Thanks to his employer’s good flexible working policies, he can work from home on a weekday. He can split his time between looking after our daughter and managing his workload. What’s more, he was able to spend four months on parental leave, and I can see how this strengthened his relationship with our daughter.
The research comes at an opportune moment, with closing the gender pay gap and improving access to paid parental leave in both areas needing urgent attention in Australia.
Yet, more must be done to remove the stigma around men asking employers for better flexible working practices, challenging gender stereotypes and supporting fathers through this new work-life balance.
Becoming a father is a life-changing moment that comes with great responsibility. They have to be there for those special daycare moments, be a support for their partner and be the breadwinner. To bring balance, employers need to say to dads, "you don't have to do this alone." We must give opportunities for dads to ask for help and provide the flexibility they deserve.
We have witnessed first-hand the struggles of new fathers trying to juggle a newborn with their careers. Taking on board this research, companies must take steps to address the nation’s concerns. The more men are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s care, the more women in the relationship can be supported and progress further in their careers. It’s not just good for dads to bond with their new baby. It also promotes better equality in the workplace.
At Randstad, we are proud to offer primary carers 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child, including eight weeks at the time of maternity leave and four weeks upon return. Secondary careers receive one week at full pay and up to eight weeks unpaid.
We also offer our people great flexible work opportunities to choose the best time to manage their work and family commitments.
The research also revealed that providing new dads with:
- flexible working arrangements
- including shorter work weeks
- part-time options and
- The choice to work from home (68%) is the most critical factor in ensuring they feel supported transitioning back into work.
According to an Australian Institute of Family Studies report, the number of hours fathers spend in employment remains at the same level before and after having children, with dads parenting around their work hours too. We need to normalise the plan by removing the taboo for men talking about parental support.
Businesses must recognise the obstacles fathers face upon returning to work by enforcing clear policies like flexible working, enhancing paternity leave and pay, and providing a solid support network to re-enter the workforce smoothly.
2019 employer brand researchdownload
PureProfile survey of 1,000 male and female nationally representative Australians, aged 18-55+, August 2019
Gender Indicators, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017