Wednesday, August 20, 2008

GetUp! Paid Parental Leave Campaign

CareerMums is proudly partnering with GetUp! for the Paid Parental Leave Campaign. Australia is one of only two developed countries without paid maternity leave. The government is looking into the issue, but unless there's overwhelming community support they won't set six to twelve months as a minimum standard - a standard supported by research on health and development, social welfare and economics.

Join over a dozen prominent organisations in this campaign by adding your name to the petition. Visit the following web address to show your support:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Know your facts when it comes to badly behaved employers

The workforce is changing. Every day, I see examples of responsible employers making a difference to the workplace for pregnant employees and parents returning to work. The skills shortage has certainly provided impetus for employers to embrace attraction and retention strategies to keep good staff.

However, I still receive phone calls and emails from women who are being treated poorly by their employer. Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, has just completed a 'listening tour' around the country. One of many observations she made was that the experiences of pregnant women, and those who had recently given birth and were seeking to return to their jobs, was of particular concern. The Commissioner heard that women are vulnerable to bullying when they return after having a child, and that many are not aware of their rights.

If you are not aware of your rights, visit the following website for advice -

In addition, be aware of the employment policies your employer offers. Ask for the parental leave policy and the flexible working arrangements policy - if they have them. If they don't, your question may prompt them to write some policies and proecedures. Know your entitlements and the laws that protect your in the workplace. Knowledge is powerful.

I will continue to provide you with more information on this very important topic.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Free job listings for employers in regional towns

Spread the word....

CareerMums is offering businesses in regional towns throughout Australia the opportunity to post their flexible roles on for free until the end of the year.

We attract parents from all over Australia but our jobs are typically located in capital cities. According to our surveys, our regional users are desperate to see more flexible work opportunities in their towns and so are we.

We would like to give employers in regional Australia the opportunity to tap into a normally untapped group of talented, experienced and mature job seekers who require flexible work arrangements. Employers can contact and take advantage of this great offer.

For more information, visit the following web page:

Friday, August 8, 2008

CareerMums ‘Pulse’ survey highlights continued challenges of child care, flexibility, recruitment and workplace policies

CareerMums recently conducted another ‘pulse’ survey to tap into challenges faced by parents returning to work. Overall, there were 420 respondents and the key themes included:

1. Work from home arrangements for some of the week was the most popular flexible work arrangement;
2. A lack of support by employers in attracting their staff back to the workplace after parental leave;
3. The cost of child care and the failure so far of the 50% child care rebate to entice mothers back to work;
4. The lack of assistance from recruitment firms in connecting return to work parents to flexible roles.

Kate Sykes, Founder of said “There are some quite straightforward means to overcoming these persistent challenges. Employers and the Government need to make some simple and long overdue changes to practices and policies which will only improve productivity. There is a hidden workforce that is ready to work. Let’s start using home grown talent before we become too reliant on importing it.”

72% of respondents found that finding a flexible job was one of the biggest barriers in returning to work. The types of work flexibility our respondents were looking for included: work from home arrangements some of the week (54%), part time reduced days (51%), part time school hours (41%), part time reduced hours (30%), stop working during school holidays (26%), and job share (23%).

‘Stay in Touch’ programs are critical in retaining employees on parental leave. Unfortunately, only 15% of respondents said that their employer offered support in planning a return to work strategy.

The cost of child care continues to be one of the biggest barriers to returning to work according to 40% of respondents. In addition, the 50 per cent child care rebate has made no difference to returning to work for 67% of respondents. Only 2% of respondents stated that it has made huge difference. This indicates that Government must revisit the way it is addressing the fundamental problems with Australian child care including the over-privatisation of child care centres, and the ability to monitor and control child care costs.

Finally, recruiters are in a great position to persuade their clients to implement more flexible work practices and attract great candidates. However, survey results indicate that this is not happening. Over 72% of respondents who approached a recruitment firm stated that recruiters were unhelpful in assisting with their flexibility requirements. currently has close to 11,000 registered job seekers looking for flexible and part time work. In addition, CareerMums provides consulting services to businesses to attract, nurture and retain working parents via their Working Parents Toolkit and The Flexible Work Proposal Toolkit -