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Bridging the “school run” gap for working parents

Do you employ parents of school-age children? How do you support them to manage the juggle of school drop off and pick up?

Long work days and short school hours can be a real challenge for working parents and it’s no easy feat trying to balance work commitments and caring for kids. The truth is, supporting staff through flexible work can not only lower absenteeism but it can also increase productivity and morale.

Flexible working arrangements can be a great way to support working parents and can go a long way to bridging the gap. But as an employer, are you aware of your obligations and how the process works?

  • Employees have the right to request flexible working arrangements if they have:
    • Worked for an employer for 12 months or more.
    • Caring responsibilities for a child who is school-aged or younger.
  • Flexible working arrangements which could help employees juggle their childcare commitments include changes to:
    • Hours of work – eg. a later start time to allow an employee to drop the kids off
    • Patterns of work – eg. split shift or job sharing to work around school hours
    • Locations of work – eg. working from home to shorten an employee’s day by avoiding a long commute.
  • Requests for flexible working arrangements must be made in writing to the employer. The employer has to consider the request and write to the employee to tell them their answer within 21 days.
  • An employer can only refuse a request if there are reasonable business grounds.
  • Remember employers and employees can discuss the request and come to an arrangement that balances the needs of the business against the needs of the employee.

Do you need some HR help with flexible work arrangements? Contact Lisa on (07) 4638 3599 to book your a free, one-hour, no-obligation HR business consultation

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