A TOTAL of 160 small businesses across Australia will become more family-friendly thanks to Gillard Government grants of up to $15,000 each to set up family-friendly workplaces.
The $1.2 million will fund a range of projects including:
- Setting up workplace family rooms featuring cots, toys and books, so parents can care for children after school, or sick children;
- Purchasing equipment so a female receptionist can work from home and care for a son who has a brain injury;
- Buying a pooled laptop to be shared among working mothers so they can combine working from home and the office.
Announcing the grants, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations, Senator Jacinta Collins, said: “The Gillard Government wants to ensure that workers can combine their work and family responsibilities.”
“This is not easy for many families but we want to support Australians as they strive to get the right balance between work and family life.
“We have a range of programs to promote work/family balance but this program is particularly aimed at small business with fewer than 15 employees, because small business needs and deserves special help.”
The $1.2 million is part of the Fresh Ideas for Work and Family Grants Program. Other Government work/family balance initiatives include:
- Up to 24 months unpaid parental leave for new parents;
- A parent’s right to request flexible work arrangements;
- From 1 January 2011, Government-funded Paid Parental Leave giving working parents 18 weeks paid leave.