Workplace flexibility and parental leave are major features of Australian workplaces. However, men's access to and uptake of these entitlements remains low. To contend with this, organisations are moving towards gender-neutral policies, offering gender equitable leave and working arrangements for all employees. Organisations that provide strong, gender-neutral parental leave and flexible working policies are more likely to enjoy better recruitment and retention, as these policies send a message that the organisation supports gender equity and that their employees are valued.
There is a strong business case for men working flexibly and taking parental leave. Access to and uptake of these entitlements can lead to a boost in productivity, an increase in employee wellbeing and improvements to work-life balance. Designing gender-neutral parental leave policies and supporting fathers and partners to take this leave has extensive benefits for families, organisations and society. Equally, providing men with access to flexible working arrangements and encouraging its uptake is integral to progressing gender equality in the workplace. Organisations must support and encourage men to take parental leave and flexible work arrangements. An increase in utilisation of these entitlements will benefit families, organisations and make an overall impact on workplace gender equality.
For additional information on designing and implementing gender equitable parental leave and flexible work policies, please access the resources below.