Australian hospitals to hand out flexible working advice

8409288601_feb422e32f_oParents in Australia are to receive flexible working advice in hospital when their child is born.

As part of a campaign to increase awareness, the country’s Fair Work Ombudsman is including information on parental leave entitlements, returning to work after leave and how to seek flexible work arrangements in more than 200,000 information packs to be distributed to parents in hospitals.

Lynda McAlary-Smith, executive director of the independent statutory body, said: “A pending birth is a major event in anyone’s life, and we want to ensure that new parents, whether they’re having their first child or subsequent children, have all the information they need to make informed decisions about how to approach issues around parenthood and work.”

She added: “We also want to help employers by highlighting the benefits that flexible working arrangements can bring to businesses. This includes better staff retention, reduced absenteeism and making their business attractive to potential employees.”

McAlary-Smith said encouraging workers to communicate openly and regularly with their employer in the lead-up to parental leave and when planning a return to work was a key part of the campaign. “Employees should have these conversations with their employer with enough lead time to make suitable and beneficial arrangements for both parties,” she said.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelightinlife/

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