QBE Australia (QBE) has become a founding partner of the National Work + Family Standards, making it one of the first organisations in Australia to be certified as a family-friendly workplace in line with the new national standards.
Launched in partnership with UNICEF Australia and Parents at Work, the National Work + Family Standards form part of the broader Australia-first Family-Friendly Workplaces (FFW) initiative that provides employees with the minimum and best-practice ways to build a more inclusive, family-friendly workplace culture.
The four core family-friendly categories that businesses will be benchmarked against include flexible work, parental leave, family care, and family wellbeing.
QBE Australia interim managing director Frank Costigan said the launch of the National Work + Family Standards is crucial for corporate Australia after the COVID-19 pandemic presented additional challenges in bridging a healthy work and family balance.
“At QBE, we're passionate about creating a family-friendly workplace that is inclusive of all different kinds of family dynamics,” Costigan said.
“As a member of the LGBTI+ community, I am proud to work for an organisation where I am supported to balance my work life with my home life that I share with my partner and twin five-year-old sons.
“Add in the pandemic and working from home, and I know first-hand the challenges of balancing work and carer's responsibilities. At QBE, we endeavour to embrace diversity and ensure we provide a platform where all our people feel supported to be at their best in the home and at work.”
In March 2019, QBE launched Share the Care, a gender-equal, flexible paid parental leave scheme to make parenting, career breaks, and flexible working businesses as usual for men and women. It has resulted in a dramatic uplift in the number of men taking paid parental leave – with one in three QBE parents (32%) accessing the leave, an increase from the 10% of men 12 months before the scheme's launch.
“Our gender-equal paid parental leave policy, Share the Care, is a great example of our commitment to mainstreaming equal caring responsibilities for men and women and exemplifies our family-friendly workplace ambition,” Costigan said. “It's not just the right thing to do. It makes perfect business sense, with family-friendly workplaces delivering positive outcomes for society, business, our economy, and our families.”