Thursday, November 5, 2009

Australia and the 'right to request' flexibility

Leading up to the introduction of the National Employment Standards (January 2010) and its flexible work provisions; what can Australia do to embrace the ‘right to request’ flexibility for the benefit of all? Introducing the right to request flexibility in your organisation:

  • Ensure your organisation has an up-to-date flexible work policy that is clearly documented and communicated to all employees
  • Make flexibility the ‘norm’ and an entitlement for all employees, not just working parents. This avoids conflict issues between other employee groups and means everyone has a equal opportunity to access flexibility
  • Educate employees on the type and range of flexible work arrangements that are feasible for your organisation to accommodate and avoid confusion about what’s possible and what’s not
  • Make available a flexible work proposal ‘template’ or ‘form’ which provides clear instructions to employees and managers on how to plan, negotiate and implement a flexible work arrangement
  • Be willing to trial a flexible work arrangement before refusing an employee’s request eg: for 3 months
  • Train managers on the benefits of flexible work; what they can do to overcome barriers and successfully implement a flexible work arrangement
  • Publicise good examples of flexible work arrangements that are working in your organisation

See for more information.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Female bank workers leave due to unfriendly work practices: study

Melbourne University today released its findings into a study on the turnover of female bank workers. According to the University's press release it's findings report that unfriendly work - family practices along with managment changes and mergers, are the key reasons behind the womens' departures. This seems to challenge the notion that professional women 'opt out' of their career to focus purely on motherhood as the most likely reason for leaving the study claims. For more on the study findings go to

How family friendly is your organisation and what might it be costing your organisation in attrition? There are many ways to introduce easy and affordable family firendly, flexible work initiatives into workplaces such as allowing people staggered start and finish times, allowing work from home access, re-orientating and providing mentoring to parents returning from parental leave, salary sacrificing pay for more annual leave and the list continues. Take our test 'how family friendly is your organisation' at

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Career After Kids Seminar - Nov 4th or 11th Sydney

Are you a parent planning to return to work or make a career change?

"Career After Kids" is a 2.5 hr seminar designed exclusively for parents being held in Sydney in November 09. Run by career experts who are also working parents; the seminar tackles the challenges many parents face when re-entering the workplace.

Parents receive:
Free Return To Work Toolkit and Job Matching Survey
Essential practical return to work tips
Helpful job hunting tips including resume and interview guidance.

To find out more or enrol go to

A flexible future at last?

Going back to work after parental leave is just about to get easier. If you're about to negotiate your return to work with your employer there are some industrial relations changes under the new Fair Work Australia Act that advocate your right to request a flexible work option, effective Jan 1, 2010. Under the new Act parents with children under the age of 6 are able to formally request a flexible work arrangement which can include options such as part time reduced hours or job share or even the opportunity to extend their parental leave up to 24 months.

Not sure what you're entitled to or how to negotiate with you're employer? Here's some tips;
1. Ask for a copy of your employers parental leave or flexible work policy to check what your entitlements are. Find out if you're covered by an Award or call free job guidance hotline 02 9967 8377.

2. Prepare for your conversation with your manager in advance, consider two or three flexible work options you can offer your employer and be prepared to answer detail questions of how the arrangement could work for everyone including your team.

3. Plan the conversation in advance giving your manager some detail about what you'd like to discuss so there's an agenda for the meeting. Preferably have the meeting in person.

4. Agree on the key areas you think you can make the arrangement you are proposing work and be prepared to make compromises in things you can't absolutely agree on.

5. Agree to a trial basis of 3-6 months to see how the flexible work options works for both on you and reality and agree to meet regularly to review it and make any adjustments.

What more info on this topic, you'll find it on