Working parents: Here’s how the right employer can support you

August 9, 2023
return to work after parental leave

Parenthood brings a mix of emotions – uncertainty, optimism, self-doubt, and a sense of wonder. And these can all run wild through your mind before a child is even conceived. Then there’s the physical exhaustion from adjusting to new sleep patterns, shattering anxiety around what you’re doing right or wrong, and the overwhelming urge to not miss a minute of this finite time of their lives.

No wonder stepping back into the workplace after parental leave can be an overwhelming experience. It’s not uncommon for some parents to feel the weight of expectations, as if they are supposed to seamlessly transition back to work while navigating this significant life event.

If they even have the option to return to their old job at all!

However, we’re here to reassure you that there are many employers that genuinely recognize the importance of this life milestone and are committed to providing the support needed to make your parental journey smoother and more manageable.

In fact, today we’re going to show you two employers that are particularly supportive. From flexible work arrangements to thoughtful parental leave policies, these companies prioritize their employees’ well-being and work-life balance.

Remember, you are not alone in this, and with the right support, you can navigate this new chapter of your life with confidence and resilience.

Liberty Financialliberty logo

Banking, investment, and finance | 501-1,000 employees

Liberty Financial are proud to provide parents and guardians with the option to bring their little ones to work with them during the school holidays for the KidsCo program – providing childcare and education in the convenience of their own workplace.

They believe in leveling the playing field when it comes to parental leave and offer 13 weeks of paid parental leave with the option to have it paid out over a 26-week period. They also offer primary caregivers up to 52 weeks of leave, with the option to request a further 52 weeks leave. Plus, they maintain superannuation contributions for the first 52 weeks.

This policy also includes inclusive family leave options such as adoption, surrogacy, foster care, and special parental leave.

Liberty Financial also understand the challenges that those undergoing fertility treatment may face and provide five days of paid leave per year for treatments such as egg retrieval or embryo transfers. They also offer two days of paid leave for those supporting a partner.

Another of the ways they help their team members to stay healthy is through their comprehensive health and well-being subsidies. They offer discounted fitness and wellness memberships or subscriptions plus subsidized private health insurance with further discounts available through Medibank Private.

Knight Frank Australiaknight frank logo

Real estate and property | 501-1,000 employees

At Knight Frank Australia, flexible work arrangements are accessible for all employees including returning parents. They also offer flexibility in terms of hours with some employees working a compressed work week where it suits. Working from home options are also welcomed.

When they conducted a review last year of their parental leave policy, they recognized that new parents commonly exhaust their personal leave as they care for their child. As their child starts daycare, they are also more susceptible to bugs and illnesses. Knight Frank were mindful that personal leave should be used to ensure people can take the time out that they need when they are sick themselves. So, they implemented childcare leave. The clause in our policy states:

Knight Frank Australia recognizes that returning to work after the birth of a child can be challenging. We want to ensure there is enough support to ensure the transition back to work goes well.

Employees returning to work after taking either Primary or Secondary Carers leave will be eligible to use up to 10 additional paid Childcare Leave days within the first 12 months of your return. These days are designed to assist you with ad hoc situations related to your child. These include but are not limited to urgent medical appointments or illness resulting in the child unable to attend childcare.”

For new mothers, Knight Frank also have breastfeeding facilities at some of their offices. If a returned employee is breastfeeding their child, Knight Frank will provide the following:

• Lactation breaks – for the purpose of either breastfeeding or expressing milk.
• A suitable private place for the purpose of breastfeeding or expressing milk.
• Other suitable facilities, such as refrigeration and a sink will be provided where practical.

However, if facilities are not available on site, their employees can discuss with their manager and Knight Frank will attempt to make alternative arrangements.

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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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