Parenting and Business

The importance of retention, productivity and return to work rates from parental leave is becoming a reporting reality for businesses. Supporting working parents within your workplace as they navigate the struggle of the juggle is crucial to realising the full potential of your workforce.

We were a proud sponsor of the first National Working Families Survey conducted in July in collaboration with Parents at Work, corporate Australia and two Australian universities. This national study obtained feedback from more than 6,000 working parents and carers across Australia on how workplaces could be made more family friendly and gender equal. Findings have revealed the significant toll that work-life conflict has on personal and family wellbeing. 


Karitane CEO, Grainne O’Loughlin said parents taking stress home from work impacts not only on their wellbeing but also the wellbeing of their children, particularly when there is a lack of employer support.


“This report found half of all parents returning to work after parental leave report significant fatigue; a third are worried and anxious; and one in five report feeling depressed. We know the first 2,000 days shapes a child’s future and they develop many of the skills and abilities that help them grow into productive adults. We need to support parents and families in this critical time.” 


This is why in 2016 Karitane launched a range of Business Support Packages providing flexible workplace parenting education and support to employees navigating the challenge of balancing parenting with a career. Click here to find out how Karitane can help your organisation support parents to better manage their work and parenting responsibilities. This assists with:

  • Improving retention
  • Increasing diversity
  • Improving productivity and performance
  • Building a family friendly inclusive culture

Key findings in the report include:

  • 62% of parents and carers reporting difficulties looking after their own physical and mental health as they try to balance competing work and family pressures.
  • One-third of parents also reported that the combination of work and family responsibilities contributed to stress and tension in the relationship with their partners and with their children.
  • Flexible work is still seen as being primarily for women, with more than two thirds of survey respondents agreeing that it is more acceptable for women to use family-friendly work options than men.
  • Women continue to carry the ‘caring load’ and employers could do more to support men to use flexible work and parental leave. 
  • More than half of fathers (57 per cent) and one-third of mothers reported the leave was ‘too short’. Financial reasons were the most common explanations for parents not using longer paid leave.
  • One-third of parents and carers reported having missed out on opportunities for promotion due to their use of flexible work, although this was more common for women (35 per cent), than men (14 per cent).
  • Nearly half of all respondents (46 per cent) said that a workers’ commitment to their job was questioned if they used family-friendly work arrangements.


Top priorities highlighted in the report:

  • The need for increased flexibility for parents/ carers over when and where they worked
  • Reduced job pressure and overall workload
  • Help with care services such as access to childcare at work or being offered child care rebates from employers


Read the Executive Summary of the report here. Stay tuned for the release of the first National Working Families Report in full in November!

The first 2,000 days shapes a child's future

By choosing Karitane you are supporting a registered charity committed to empowering families and children to be confident, safe, and resilient.

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