Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is it time to review your parental leave policies and entitlements?

Now has never been a better time to review your organisation's policies and procedures to ensure your parental leave and flexible work entitlements remain competitive as the Government's paid parental scheme begins.

Employers will need to examine their parental leave processes, employment contracts and administration procedures to ensure there is a smooth transition for the employee and the correct entitlements are paid. Read more.

What should your organisation be reviewing and considering?

- Do you have an up to date parental leave policy that explains the new Government paid parental leave entitlements and how it works with your organisation's existing entitlments?
- Do you provide employees exiting and returning from parental leave with a 'pack' of information and checklist which supports them during the transition phases?
- Do you have a flexible work policy and application process which allows employees and manager to plan, negotiate and implement flexible work arrangements?
- Do you offer returning parents with training or coaching services to make the transition phase smoother?
- Do you share and promote your employees return to work and flexible work success stories in your business?

Find out more about what you can be doing to update your parental leave offerings at www.mumsatwork.com.au and ask us about our:
Working Parents Toolkit
Flexible Work Proposal Toolkit

Monday, November 1, 2010

Europe leads the way in Paid Parental Leave yet again

Mothers in Europe have reason to cheer, according to Human Capital Magazine [20-week stop work order for mothers]. The European Union is looking to extend maternity leave from the current minimum of 14 weeks to 20 weeks on full pay.

But not every country in the EU is supportive of the increase - UK conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis called it “well-intentioned but completely out-of-step with reality and warned that it would “lead to further indirect discrimination against women in the workplace”.

The director general of BusinessEurope, Philippe de Buck, agreed, saying the proposal threatened to “increase the complexity of hiring women”.

One proponent of the measure, Danish MEP Britta Thomsen, however, said the measure would encourage women to have more children – at a time of when an ageing population and low birth rates plague Europe.

Employers - do you know what your employees are entitled to from the 1st Jan 2011?

Parents - make sure you're aware of your entitlments to paid parental leave - see mums@work Parental Leave FAQs and answers.

Contact mums@work free 'Return to Work' Advisory Service for more information on 02 9967 8377 or email info@mumsatwork.com.au

Monday, October 18, 2010

Retain your talented mums & dads - on any budget

ANZ recently announced a major new initiative to attract and retain top female talent by providing a childcare allowance of $4,000 for working parents.

Emma Walsh, Director of mums@work is delighted to see an Australian company moving closer towards the UK model, where many companies offer vouchers to subsidise the cost of childcare.

‘Australian employers need to step up to the standard set by companies overseas. Affordability of childcare is one of the key barriers our clients encounter when returning to a workplace.’

ANZ is an example of a large company realising the barriers to returning to work and coming up with a practical and attractive solution. While not all companies are in a position to offer financial incentives on the scale of those offered by ANZ, small businesses need not feel limited by their budget.

According to Emma, small to medium businesses should not underestimate their edge when it comes to negotiating a great package for working parents. ‘There are loads of solutions which smaller companies can use to attract parents.

‘Consider job shares, allowing flexible shifts, return to work coaching, offering the option of purchasing extra annual leave or creating a family room for children to visit after school.’

‘Lifestyle’ benefits can be just as enticing to parents as financial incentives. But for all companies, large or small, rather than trying to guess what will work for parents, Emma suggests that employers go direct to the source. ‘Ask mums and dads what they need first and design policies based on that feedback.’

Of course, while creative programmes will help retain and attract working parents, the case for family friendly flexible work initiatives is not just a 'working mum' issue. Employees of all ages seek improved flexible working conditions. Some people may need to structure work around caring for an aged person or person with a disability. Many retiring baby boomers wish to ‘wind down’ or ‘phase out’ of the workforce and Generation Y, the future workforce, vote work/life balance as a ‘must have’.

For more insights on offering flexible work solutions as a small business, click here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Prepare NOW for Paid Parental leave questions!

With expectant parents already able to file claims with the Family Assistance Office, employers need to know how to answer employees' questions about the imminent paid parental scheme, say Lander and Rogers employment lawyers read more.

Mums@work is already experiencing an increase in calls and emails from employed parents-to-be anxious to know about their parental entitlements so we've created a list of Parental Leave & Returning to Work FAQs on our site.

Contact us to find out more about how you can support your parents@work.
We have toolkits, training and coaching that can help you retain your working parents.

Contact us on 02 9967 8377 or email info@mumsatwork.com.au

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Event: Career After Kids - support your parents return to work and thrive!

How is your organisation supporting its working parents? Invite and Enrol parents in your organisation to Career After Kids!

‘Career After Kids’ is a 2.5 hr seminar designed to support employees who are returning to work from parental leave and for those who have recently returned who are looking for tips and tools to better manage work and family. We provide a ‘return to work toolkit’ and your employees are able to meet with other parents in similar situations and discuss ways to manage and enjoy being a working parent!

Want to know more? Contact Emma Walsh on 02 9967 8377.
Limited spaces available. Next Seminar runs Wednesday, 17th November 2010 | 10am – 12.30pm.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stop the 'brain drain' and prepare employees for parental leave - what parents want and employers are offering

Stop the 'brain drain' and prepare employees for parental leave - recent survey reports parents want to work!

A new survey shows parents would rather return to the workplace sooner than take 24 months parental leave.

CareerMums recently conducted a survey on workplace challenges confronting working parents. The survey attracted 335 respondents and covered topics such as recently introduced employment law, key barriers to returning to work and childcare.

When asked if they would prefer to use the full 24 months of parental leave or return to work sooner, 46% of parents said they would prefer to return to work earlier and access flexible work arrangements. However the key barriers that parents continue to face when considering a return to work are limited access to flexible roles (72%), the excessive cost of childcare (68%), and a limited number of childcare places (35%), reports the CareerMums survey. Survey results.

Early preparation is a vital aspect of retaining parents as employees. Historically, employers have focused their attention on providing employee benefits such as financial incentives, however, these benefits are often not provided until after the parental leave has commenced or once parents have already returned to work.

mums@work works with a number of employers who are taking a more progressive approach to staff retention. These employers are discussing flexible work strategies before the parent takes leave. Preparing your staff for parental leave checklist.

During the parental leave absence, these employers are also working hard to help the employee stay connected to the organisation, making returning to work a smoother transition for both employee and manager.

Belinda Abbott, Diversity Consultant at Westpac, recognises the importance of early preparation in retaining valuable staff; “ Westpac has launched a whole new series of parental support toolkits and training seminars aimed at helping expectant parents plan for leave and for those who have returned to work to feel more supported on an ongoing basis. Westpac also has a number of flexible work practices, including part-time and job-share, available to all employees. We also recently announced we would be Australia's first major corporation to pay superannuation on unpaid parental leave for all permanent employees. This is an industry-leading initiative that will help us reverse the Australia-wide retirement savings gap experienced by employees, particularly those who take unpaid parental leave"

Organisations such as Mallesons Stephen Jaques are also developing parent forums focussed specifically on helping employees who are returning from parental leave manage their 'new' life as working parents and ensuring they have access to the additional ongoing support that is available to enable work life balance.

If you would like to discuss how your business can maximise staff retention, call Emma Walsh, Director of mums@work on 02 9967 8377.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A mum's return to work story to inspire others

Here's a wonderful story from a mum we recently supported back to work that provides inspiration to other mums who are thinking of taking the plunge...

Aleksha's story
I cannot tell you how nervous I was when I had my first phone interview with the CIO for my new job that I recently started. After the interview, I felt that I could have said so much more and so many things better but I kept everything crossed and prayed that I had got the job. Later that evening I heard from mums@work that I was successful and had to start later that week. Panic struck again...was I ready???

I arrived at 8am and met the CIO who seemed really nice. She took me around the various floors and introduced me to so many people.
When I finally sat at my desk, I kept thinking...am I Ready, will I be okay?

But I was surprised how the day rolled on. I must admit in the first week, there were times I would think I used to know this and at other times, things came back to me in a flash. In the last two and a half weeks, I have gone through this cycle a few times now.

I am really enjoying being back at work and I don’t seem to mind the early starts (5.00 am) to get things organised at home and then start work at 7.30am before finishing at 2.00pm to pick my girls up on time from school.

It’s amazing how the family has adapted to the change, it's so seamless. Life is busier and things have to be even more organised. (I swear I thought it was already organised but obviously there was room for improvement).

To all the fantastic mums who are thinking of returning back to work.....Go for it. You can do it !!!

You will truly surprise yourself. After the 100 million things we juggle with children and the endless lists of things to remember, working is not too hard even after a break. And the fact that the brain cells are being used for other things does so much good for you as a person.

And a little secret.....No one except you knows how nervous you are...so let it be a MUM secret. And may the forces unite as there is nothing a Mum cannot accomplish.

I hope my story inspires other working mums.

Do recruiters help or hinder mums career options and choices?

The Sunday Telegraph's article published last weekend Maternity leave will kill your career, recruitment companies warn women"is a yet again a sobering reminder that working mums and mums-to-be still battle overt discrimination not just from potential employers, but now it seems, sadly from recruitment agencies too. The Sunday Telegraph's article reports that "Head- hunting companies say women should forgo maternity leave if they want their careers to flourish".

Let's do some myth busting:
Fact: Working mums are just as 'intellectually capable' as any other employee
Fact: Working mums are resourceful, productive and multi-talented
Fact: There have been more part time roles created in the Australian marketplace in the last 2 years than full time roles
Fact: There are more mums returning to work than ever before and the Australian economy needs them
Fact: The new 'right to request' flexible work arrangements requires employers to think differently about accommodating return to work mums and dads

Recruiters are often in a unique position of influence and power when it comes to facilitating and negotiating career discussions between candidates and employers. It begs the question, just what are recruiters doing or not doing when representing working mums for new job opportunities? Are they in fact reinforcing or condoning blatant career discrimination against mums who are looking for, dare I say it, some type of work life balance?
Surely the best fit, most suitable candidate (irrespective of their parent status) should rightfully be represented and selected for the job?

Give us your thoughts; are recruiters helping or hindering your job search?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Will the Government Paid Parental Leave Scheme replace employer funded schemes?

Does your organisation have a plan to review its approach to paid parental leave (PPL) once the Government's national scheme comes into effective January 2011? Better think twice.

It appears that the current proposed PPL scheme which won the support of the Senate pre Election omitted any mention of an employer's ability to use the Government's PPL scheme to offset their own existing PPL scheme. But this doesn't mean employers are simply off the hook if they have inbedded PPL entitlements into their standard offering to employees either through negotiated Enterprise Bargaining Agreements or via their internal HR policies.

Don't assume the Government's paid parental leave scheme will offset your organisation's own scheme reports HR Daily. "Employers won't necessarily be able to offset their existing paid parental leave programs with the government's new scheme", says workplace relations lawyer Mick Moy. See Article.

Want to know more about your Paid Parental Leave options and obligations for your organisation, contact mums@work on info@mumsatwork.com.au or go to www.mumsatwork.com.au.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Paid Parental Leave a crucial retention tool

Human Capital Magazine reports today "As the paid parental leave policy debate heats up in the final stage of the Federal election campaign, Hewitt Associates has found 71% of Australian corporate organisations are already offering some form of paid parental leave.

"According to the Hewitt Paid Parental Leave Pulse Survey, conducted in July-August 2010, the majority of corporations recognise the long-term value of offering paid parental leave to primary carers; to support and retain loyal employees, as well as attracting them back to work after leave. However, some are not yet sure how to address this issue." Read more

Mums@work advises clients that it's not just as simple as implementing a paid parental leave scheme to ensure talented staff are retained.

Employers need to support the employee transitioning to and from parental leave by providing a series of initiatives like introducing a simple process to negotiate a viable flexible work arrangement, allowing a gradual return to work over a period of a month and offering return to work toolkits and coaching. For client case studies read on.

Top-line findings on paid parental leave status in corporate sector

71% of corporate organisations offer paid parental leave to the primary carer; 36% are given 12 or more weeks
59% of corporates offer a secondary carer paid parental leave; 37% receive at least a week of paid parental leave
57% of corporates are undecided what changes they will make to paid parental leave.
89% of corporates that offer paid parental leave make no attempt to recover paid funds if the carer does not return to work within the agreed timeframe
* (2008) HRPulse Research Report, Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Men helping more at home is the key to gender equality?

In the Western world, motherhood remains the barrier to gender equality. Until they have children, young women now earn nearly the same as men and climb the career ladder at a similar pace. With the babies often come career breaks, part-time work and a rushed two-shift existence that means sacrificing informal networks like the after hours beer-and-bonding experience often crucial at promotion time.

The only thing that can level the playing field at work is a level playing field at home. And that requires a major shift in public policy and corporate culture...reports the New York Times...more

No means NO - sexual harassment in the workplace

While the media lapped up the salacious details regarding the resignation of David Jones' CEO Mark McInnes for sexual misconduct, the incident shone a much needed spotlight on harassment in the workplace and opened up countless talking points around office water coolers. For example, if McInnes had been extorting money out of female employees in return for promotion and other advantages, he probably wouldn't have just been sacked - he'd be in jail. However, because of McInnes' reputation as a 'ladies man' playing the field, it was just accepted as a normal part of corporate life...more

Saturday, August 7, 2010

25% of mums say they are not working because they can't afford child care

25% of mums say they can't afford to work because of cost of child care a new study reports. What is this loss of talent in the Australian workforce costing our economy and what impact is it having on mums and their families?

Childcare is a problem for 40% of families who took part in latest federal government funded study making the child care issue an election decider says the Sun Herald...read on

Sunday, August 1, 2010

There's no harm in being a working mum research reveals

There's no harm in being a working mum research reveals. The Sun Herald reports that "mums can return to work within a year of giving birth without harming their babies' development, a landmark US report shows". Full Article.

Personally I believe there's a few critical factors that mums need in place in order to successfully manage being a 'working mum'.

1. The ability to return to a job, occupation and workplace that they enjoy and get personal fulfilment from - let's face it no mum wants to leave their child(ren) in the care of another for a job they loathe.

2. Access to affordable, quality child care weather that be a grandparent, private nanny, family day care or long day care.

3. Access to flexible work arrangements which allows mums to better balance the needs and demands of work and family as required.

Have your say; what do you think?

mums@work launches new services

We’re delighted to announce that we are expanding our services to you. Since 2007, we have been Australia’s leading provider of return to work guidance, family friendly programs and flexible work tools for mums, dads and employers. We’ve listened to employers and parents and to continue to meet your needs mums@work now offers:

NEW RECRUITMENT SERVICE: Employers with vacancies to fill and parents looking for new opportunities can now take advantage of our recruitment service. It’s simple, flexible and affordable. Parents register for free as a job seeker. For businesses, there is NO costly agency placement fee involved – find out more.

FREE JOB GUIDANCE HOTLINE: We have also launched our job guidance hotline. Parents can contact a career expert who will answer their return to work questions for free. Register now for a free resume appraisal and return to work tips.

RTW TRAINING | “CAREER AFTER KIDS”: Gain confidence, refresh skills and review career options with mums@work training and coaching services. Next ”Career After Kids” 2.5 hr RTW seminar runs 25th August – enrol now. Employers: support working parents transition to and from parental leave and retain top talent with a RTW Coach find out more

For all the information you need on these services and so much more, check out our new website. You’ll find a wealth of information, useful tools and handy tips. Think of www.mumsatwork.com.au as your ‘one stop shop’ for all your return to work needs.

Friday, July 30, 2010

'Mums' taxation makes returning to work punishing...

According to the SMH and University of Sydney Professor Patricia Apps, tax rates on mothers who go back to work on low and moderate incomes are punishing, when you consider how much tax they have to pay and how much of the family tax benefit they lose.

As the paper noted: "On average, a married mother who decides to go out to work will lose around a third of her income in taxes and reduced [family tax benefits]." more

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pregnancy discrimination a pre-natal headache for employers

Employers can expect an increase in the number of complaints about discrimination against pregnant employees as women become more aware of their rights.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently launched a national campaign to inform women of their rights at work when pregnant and when returning to work after having a child. Read more

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Employers beware - pregnancy discrimination costs

Employers beware - pregnancy discrimination can no longer go unanswered and be ignored. The Sydney Morning Herald today reported the first discrimination case brought under the new national workplace laws. The case involves a pregnant employee who was told by her employer that her pregnancy was an "inconvenience" for which their would be "consequences" read full article

Parents concerned about discrimination in the workplace relating to caring responsibilities, pregnancy, employment contracts etc can contact the Fair Work Australia on 1300 799 675 or the Human Rights and Equal Employment Commission on (02) 9284 9600.

Employers can find out more about their obligations can see the Fair Work Australia site www.fwa.gov.au and www.mumsatwork.com.au for training and other initiatives to ensure your workplace is family friendly.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Superannuation for mums & dads on parental leave

We may still be celebrating the Federal Government's announcement of paid parental leave but what about the Superannuation mums miss out on when on taking maternity leave. On average women have one third as much superannuation savings upon retirement as men. Westpac has become Australia's first bank and private company to agree to pay staff on parental leave Superannuation in the first 12 months in addition to 13 weeks paid parental leave.

Hopefully this will encourage other rivals and friendly friendly businesses to do the same.

Read about what Westpac is doing Bank forks out to set super lead on parental leave

PAUL BIBBY June 30, 2010

As a Sydney mother, Tracy Higgisson, sat and talked about the ground-breaking parental leave policy announced by Westpac yesterday, a friend chimed in from the background.

''It's not fair,'' her friend said. ''Why can't I get that?''

One brief interjection says much about the bank's decision and its likely impact on the industrial landscape.

Westpac announced yesterday that it would continue to pay superannuation to staff who chose to take unpaid parental leave when they had a child, for up to a year.

This is on top of the 13 weeks' paid maternity leave that the bank already offers to staff, including those such as Ms Higgisson, who work for BT, RAMS and St George.

The policy will cost the bank up to $5 million a year. By retirement, the bank's superannuation bonus should become a $72,000 nest egg for an employee on an average salary who takes two periods of parental leave.

Westpac is the first private company to take a stab at one of the glaring inequities in the Australian superannuation system: women on average have one-third as much superannuation upon retirement as men.

The director of the Centre for Work and Life at the University of South Australia, Barbara Pocock, said: ''This effectively sends the message that Westpac is the employer of choice for prime-aged [working] women and it puts them a step ahead in the war for talent.

''There is certainly some pressure on the other banks now. Many women will pay attention to it and some women in other companies and other industries will be asking 'Why doesn't everyone get that?'''

With a 17-month-old and another due in August, super is not Ms Higgisson's priority, but she will benefit from the system and can see the significance.

''I'm having my babies in quick succession - I will have been out of the workforce for two of the past four years - if you think about, 9 per cent of the salary for two years is quite a lot. You hope that when you retire you're still with your partner, but there's always a possibility that you're not.

''If that happens, then the amount of superannuation becomes pretty essential to your life. I think anything an employer does to help parents out during a difficult time is a really good thing.''

Such sentiments were echoed by many yesterday.

It was a far cry from the howls of derision aimed at Westpac late last year when it elected to raise interest rates well above the mark set by the Reserve Bank, and then explained the move with a banana smoothie analogy.

The general manager of AMR Interactive, Oliver Freedman, said: ''There's no doubt they would have wanted to improve their corporate reputation from that point, and I think [this] definitely will. One of the key components of reputation is perception of workplace environment. If you're seen as treating employees well it's likely to be received positively.

''We did a survey earlier this year which had them ranked 48th of 60 companies for corporate reputation. I'd be expecting them to improve from there.''

a parental leave?

Monday, June 21, 2010

How do you manage school hours and work?

Great question; aaahhh the dilemma of 9-3 school hours! Like me if you're a working mum sending your kids off to school in the next year or two you're probably starting to think 'yikes - I've only just got child care working well how on earth am I going to manage working around school hours?'

Don't panic, here's a few useful tips that might help:

1. Think outside the square and be prepared to be flexible and explore a multitude of options rather than putting all your eggs into one solution - plan B is important!

2. After school care is going to be an important part of the support network you’ll need in place when your child starts school but it's popular and often over-subscribed so if you know the school your child is likely to attend, call in advance and see if there's a waiting list application you can put your name on.

3. Explore with your employer(both parents) if it’s an option to leave or finish early from work one or two days a week so you can share the pick up and drop off together. I know people who have negotiated shorter working days and work from home to help their kids settle into the first term and year of school.

4. Ask for help - can family help out one or two days a week with the pick up and drop off two days per week?

5. Look into employing a mother’s helper/babysitter to do the drop off and/or after school care – this this way the carer can help the kids with homework and prepare meals too!

6. Do you know other parents with kids starting school the same year who you could share the pick up and drop off duties with?

I hope this provides some food for thought and that you're able to select a few options that will work for your family. The trick is to get creative and be flexible!

mums@work team

What's the best career option for mums?

What's the best career option after you have a baby - full-time, part-time or no work at all? To work or not to work - that IS the question? Every working mum has the nagging question at some stage of their return to work journey 'is this working and is this worth it?'

Rebecca Gibney and other mums on juggling work after baby talk to Jacinta Tyan, Sunday Life Magazine read more...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Paid Parental Leave - what does it mean?

Thankfully access to paid parental leave is finally a right for ALL Australian working parents, effective 1 January 2010.

But just what does this mean for employers and parents? Who is eligible? What are they entitled to and how will it work? What about working women currently pregnant due before January 2011, what will they be eligible for? What about the baby bonus?

The Federal Government is yet to publish the updated Paid Parental Leave scheme details in answer to these questions on its DEEWR and Fair Work Australia websites, however, employers and parents will find its published interim Booklet - Australia's Paid Parental Leave Scheme - offers some useful informations and answers to common questions.

Parents and Employers can find out more about parental leave entitlements and returning to work via mums@work helpline:

Website: www.mumsatwork.com.au
Phone: 02 9967 8377
Email: info@mumsatwork.com.au

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to write a flexible work proposal

How to write a flexible work proposal

Step 1
Ask your employer if policies exist around flexible work arrangements in your workplace. If so, confirm what process will need to be followed to request a flexible work arrangement.

Step 2
Let your manager know that you would like to explore flexible work arrangements that may be available to you, and explain that you will submitting a proposal that outlines your ideas.

Step 3
Review your core job tasks and responsibilities. Consider how your job could be redesigned to accommodate a flexible work arrangement. Propose at least two alternate flexible work arrangements you think would be feasible. Identify and outline the benefits of the flexible work solutions you are proposing and how you will address any potential downsides. If appropriate at this stage, ask your manager for input and ideas. Keeping your manager in the loop makes it an inclusive process. Remember, negotiating flexibility means that both parties will need to compromise.

Step 4
Once you have considered all your options, formalise your plan in writing and submit it to your manager. See negotiating with employers tips.

Step 5
Arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss your Flexible Work Proposal and negotiate what will be feasible. Consider agreeing to a trial arrangement and evaluate how it will work for you and your employer.

Types of questions you need to ask and address in your proposal
• Days/Hours you would like to work and the location
• Detail how you envisage the flexible work arrangement working
• How your current job tasks and responsibilities will be impacted
• The benefits that will be achieved by working flexibility
• How the downsides can be minimised
• What support and technology will be required to make it work

For help and more info contact mums@work 02 9967 8377 or info@mumsatwork.com.au

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Career After Kids Seminar - Sydney 24th Feb 2010

'Career After Kids' seminar is exclusive to parents returning to work, seeking career guidance or improved work life happiness.

• 2.5hr practical seminar run by career experts
• Speak to a career coach about your situation
• Re-evaluate your job options
• Create the work-life change you seek
• Free Return to Work Toolkit
• Learn how to plan an negotiate a flexible work arrangement

Enrol now or contact info@mumsatwork.com.au | 02 9967 8377
New Career, New Life, New You

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 New 'Right to Request' Flexible Work may backfire on mums?

Tell us what you think? Do you think the new 'right to request' a flexible work arrangement as part of the 2010 National Employment Standards will have a negative or positive effect for mums when negotiating their return to work?

Only 4 days old, the new 'right to request' flexible work legislation; although largely heralded by supporters as a breakthrough for working parents, is already attracting controversy. The SMH today reported that the new right to request flexibility may 'backfire' rather than benefit working parents caring for under school age children or with a disability. Full Article.

The UK has had similar legislation in place since 2002; find out more about the UK experience and learning.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Job Description of a Mum

Position: Mother, Mum, Mama, Mummy, Ma
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an,often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

Responsibilities: The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organise social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility. Read more.

5 Steps to Find a Flexible Job

Step 1: Review your career aspirations and flexibility requirements using our 'Return to Work Toolkit'. What do you want to do and what type of flexibility will you need? Write down what your skills are; what are you good at and do you enjoy doing? Consider your flexibility needs, jot down at least two flexible work options you’d be prepared to trial eg: 3 days a week 9-5 or 5 days a week 10-2 etc. Create a short-list and research the most suitable and attractive job ads that fit your criteria via online job boards such as www.careermums.com.au and via recruitment agencies and newspapers and then evaluate the skills that employers are looking for. Register with mums@work and access a career consultant to discuss your career add flexible work options – ask about our career coaching, training and recruitment service.

Step 2: Know your return to work ‘right to request’ a flexible work arrangement entitlements. They include:
• Parental leave: Employees will have the ability to request a second 12 months of unpaid leave, so 24 months in total. Currently it is only 12 months.
• Right to request flexibility: An employee who is a parent of or has responsibility for a child under school age can request flexible working hours. An employer may refuse on 'reasonable business grounds'. The request and refusal must be in writing and provide reasons.

Step 3: Prepare to negotiate with your current employer if you are planning to return after parental leave by writing a flexible work proposal. Alternatively, if you’re looking to start something new or prepare for job hunting by reviewing our handy job hunting tips and update your resume using our resume services. If you would like a free appraisal of your resume, send it to info@mumsatwork.com.au. When updating your resume, think about the activities you have been doing whilst raising your children and record these on your resume as ‘unpaid or volunteer work’. For example, raising money for a school fete or charity involves promotion, event management, negotiation, communication, marketing business development, and marketing skills. Job description of a mum.

Step 4: Find family friendly employers. Who are they? Is there one close to you? See our where to look guide. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) promotes women-friendly organisations with equal opportunity programs that recognise and advance their female workforce. Similarly, the National Work and Family Awards recognise private, public and community sector organisations with outstanding flexible working arrangements that meet the needs of the business and its employees. Visit either www.eowa.gov.au or www.workplace.gov.au for a list of family friendly and flexible employers in your state. Apply direct if you'd like to work work for one of these employers. We recommend KPMG, Johnson & Johnson Medical, Malleson Stephen Jaques as progressive workplaces supporting parents.

Step 5: Connect to flexible work providers and social networks. Ensure that you register your name and details with mums@work so we can connect you with family friendly jobs and other job channels to ensure you have broad coverage. Job boards and Agencies that we know and recommend are:

Careermums – www.careermums.com.au
Nine2Three – www.nine2three.com.au
Priorities – www.priorities.com.au
Seed Recruitment – www.seedrecruitment.com.au

Finally don’t forget to tell people in your family and friends network that you are returning to work and to look out for suitable opportunities – the best jobs are often sourced via people we know. Another great idea is to join online social media and networking sites such as www.linkedin.com and www.linkme.com.au. These channels allow you to register your professional details online for potential employers to access and make contact with you.

Find out more via our free job guidance hotline at www.mumsatwork.com.au