As of 1 January 2010 parents are now entitled to up to 24 months of unpaid parental leave as part of the National Employment Standards. Parents also have the right to request flexibility if they have a child under school age. This is a positive outcome for working parents. Children are the future of this country so it is important that they are loved, nurtured and cared for. It can only create a better society.
Business groups and employers are reacting nervously. What businesses need to understand is that most women return to work within 9 months of giving birth to their child. Some parents may opt to take the extra 12 months, but if the employer offered flexible work arrangements, there is a high chance that the parent would return to work much sooner.
For a business to succeed, you need human resources and productivity. If you know the following, you can become more confident in the recent employment changes for parents:
- Flexible work arrangements is by far the bigger carrot than up to 24 month of parental leave because income is the #1 reason for parents returning to work.
- If you offer flexible work practices, most of the time you will be paid back with loyalty, productivity, and a much happier workplace.