To celebrate International Woman’s Day, Bare Bones Consulting is proud to promote some general information to increase employer awareness around workplace gender equality and the benefits gender equality can bring to all businesses.
Workplace gender equality is achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities, regardless of gender.
Achieving gender equality is important for workplaces, not only because it is “fair” or “the right thing to do”, but because it is also linked to business performance. Research shows gender equality offers a range of measurable benefits to any business: improved productivity, market share and financial performance, innovation, safety, reputation and access to talent as well as reduced employee turnover and minimising legal risks.
While women in Australia have made significant strides towards equality with men, a recent snapshot from the Australian Human Rights Commission shows women and girls continue to experience inequality and discrimination in many important parts of their lives, which can limit the choices and opportunities available to them.
One step any business can take toward workplace gender equality is by developing and promoting a flexible working arrangements procedure. Flexible working arrangements assist employees achieve balance between work and their personal lives. Flexibility around working hours helps parents manage the demands that come with being a parent of a young child, school age child or a child with a disability, such as picking-up and dropping-off at childcare, caring for sick children, and attending medical and other appointments. Flexible working arrangements can also benefit businesses by increasing staff retention, decreasing absenteeism and achieving greater productivity through increased employee job satisfaction.
As well as being an employment “nice to have”, the right to request for flexible working arrangements is one of the 10 minimum employment entitlements provided to all employees under the National Employment Standards (NES). The right to request flexible working arrangements arises for employees who have at least 12 months’ continuous service and long term casuals who have a reasonable expectation of continuing regular and systematic employment.
Failure to comply with the NES exposes an employer to significant penalties under s44 of the Fair Work Act.
Like to know more? The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. The WGEA works collaboratively with employers providing advice, practical tools and education to help improve their gender performance.
Bare Bones Consulting can also assist with information on workplace gender equality, diversity and inclusion, flexible working arrangements, the NES or any aspect of human resources. We specialise in advice and tools to manage your business risk and get the best from your people. Call us now for a chat…although we may be out having a coffee to celebrate International Woman’s Day!
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