Senior HR Business Analyst Houra Delavari says being able to tap into her long service leave to work part-time after having children gave her ‘peace of mind’ to enjoy her time with her young boys.
“A workplace culture where flexibility is the norm and where all staff are supported to successfully manage their work and personal commitments.”
Sounds good, right? Well it’s not a pipe dream – it’s one of the measurable commitments within the University’s Workplace Gender Equity Strategy, which is focused on ‘fixing the system’ to create an environment where all staff feel supported to succeed.
Macquarie continues to be a leader in progressive family-friendly policies. The University’s current Staff Enterprise Agreements build on the already generous primary carer and partner leave provisions for staff, with Macquarie being the first Australian university to offer Surrogacy Leave and new measures making it easier for staff to return to work part-time after parental leave, should they wish to.
Making parenting a priority
Ben Wilkes, Associate Director of Student Wellbeing, is one of an increasing number of fathers at Macquarie who are making the most of the University’s flexible work options.
Ben is among the Macquarie staff who have shared their story on the University’s new Carers Hub – an online resource providing information and advice to staff looking to balance their family and work lives.
“Choosing to be a part-time carer means that you value family and have set times to care for them, but it doesn’t mean you’re not engaged with your work role,” Ben says on the hub.
“My own flexible work arrangement allowed me to have a combination of long and short days, which was beneficial for both my family and my work – I could do childcare drop offs and pickups on the short days, and the longer work days allowed me a greater focus on projects and innovation.”
As an academic and father, Dr Nicolas Badcock also agrees the flexibility of his working arrangement is invaluable for both his family and his career.
One of the troubles Nicholas found with being a researcher was that work didn’t switch off when he left the office for the day.
“Before having kids, it was easier to work longer hours and feel like I was making more progress,” he explains. “Obviously I could still choose do this but then I’d be missing out on knowing my family and having them know me.”
Nicholas believes that being able to work from home and not having set work hours has made life much easier for him. “It has allowed me to coordinate the school/day care run without any fuss but even better, I’ve been in a position to volunteer at the school…my son is pretty stoked.”
Supporting our people
Vice-President of Human Resources Nicole Gower says the University is always looking at new ways to support staff that have caring responsibilities – be it for children, elderly parents or family members with a disability or a serious illness.
“Some of the current priorities we’re working on are the development of a ‘keep-in-touch’ program for staff on extended parental or carer’s leave, and an onboarding program to support their transition back to work,” she says.
“We’re also looking to establish a carer’s network to provide a safe and supportive environment for parents and carers of others to meet, discuss issues and connect with available support.”
Visit the Macquarie University Carers Hub >>