Independent agency The Works has committed to contribute to the childcare cost for its staff returning to work after having kids, with the agency offering to pay $100 a day for six months to cover the expense.
The scheme kicks in on 1 July and is available to any staff member who has been with the agency for two or more years, male or female, who returns to work after they've had a baby. The only caveat is they have to be the primary caregiver.
The policy is part of the third phase of the agency’s family first initiative, with the first phases centered around flexible work arrangements and reward and recognition programs.
The policy, which is thought to be an industry first, will see 31% of The Works' employees eligible to access the policy as of the end of this week. This number will increase by 20% in 2017.
Partner at The Works, Kevin Macmillan, says: “The Works has always had a strong focus on family and as we have grown over the last five years it was apparent we needed to be more innovative when it came to our people, their needs and wants and how we could support them. Ultimately, it’s their talent and drive which defines our success.”
The $100 a day is in-line with the average price for childcare in NSW, which sits at $96 per day. This money provided by The Works will not be aligned with any one childcare service - allowing staff to best select what suits their schedules and location.
“Parents need as much flexibility as possible when it comes to their kids, we wanted to ensure the parents were the decision makers, whether that is a nanny, early childcare center or their parents, we want to support that decision and respect that everyone’s situation differs.”
The policy is aimed to offer parents the opportunity to continue to pursue their careers while still being able to utilise flexible work hours to accommodate their required schedules.
“We currently have 32% of our staff working part-time after returning from maternity leave who have all supported the policy, saying that childcare is one of the major hurdles in returning to work due to the costs associated,” he added.
Additional to the childcare bonus, The Works has also announced a 30% increase to its education and development budget as part of its human resource strategy for 2016.
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