Workplace Flexibility

More organisations promote flexible working

The 2018-19 data shows a 2.0pp increase in the number of organisations reporting they have a formal flexibility policy and/or strategy in place.

2019 Scorecard chart 9 - orgs with a flexible work policy/strategy
  • Financial and Insurance Services has the highest proportion of organisations with a formal policy and/or strategy on flexible working arrangements (up 4.7 pp to 90.6%).
  • Construction has the lowest proportion (down 0.4pp to 55.5%).
  • The strongest improvements were in Wholesale Trade (up 6.4pp to 74.8%), Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services (up 5.1pp to 77.1%) and Mining (up 5.1pp to 68.0%).
  • Just over one in four organisations with a flexible working strategy provide manager training on flexible work and only one in 20 set targets for employee engagement in flexible work.
2019 Scorecard chart 12 - flexible work strategies

When we talk about men and women balancing work and caring, it can be all too easy to frame the discussion in adversarial absolutes. For instance, when we discuss the gender pay gap and inequality in the workplace and at home, some might take the easy option of saying it is mainly due to men focusing on their careers and not “pulling their weight” at home.

More men are finding themselves caught in the crosshairs between two diverging expectations: traditional breadwinner and modern father.

Managers play a critical role in enabling and embedding workplace flexibility. For many managers, the need to consider how to implement flexibility only arises when their organisation or employees start expressing an interest in it.

Key aspects of this role are to:

  • find out what flexibility resources, policies or strategies, already exist in your organisation and familiarise yourself with them
  • ensure employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities around flexible work
  • provide employees with support and build a team culture based on high performance, trust and outcomes
  • ensure communication and resource management are enabled between teams and departments
  • set an example by openly supporting flexibility and working flexibly, which will help employees and teams understand that working flexibly is a normal and accepted part of work.

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At Diageo, from 1 July 2019 all Australian employees will be eligible to take 26 weeks paid family leave regardless of gender, carer status or length of service.

Flexible work is good for business and good for employees. The evidence is clear. To celebrate 22 May, Flexible Working Day, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (‘WGEA’) is asking all organisations to think about how they could become a little ‘flexier’.

The Business Council of Australia, McKinsey & Company and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency teamed up to undertake a study using three years of WGEA data and more than 40 interviews. The result, Women in Leadership: Lessons from Australian companies leading the way, provides an evidence-based recipe for dismantling barriers to women’s participation at senior levels and a correlation between representation of women in senior roles and the practice of normalising flexible work.

The highest paid men in Australia are being paid at least $162,000 more than the highest paid women, but women could be on par with men in most management roles within the next two decades, our latest Gender Equity Insights report shows.

The highest paid men in Australia are being paid at least $162,000 more than the highest paid women, but women could be on par with men in most management roles within the next two decades, a new report shows.