Independent creative agency The Works has today announced the launch of its Employer-Funded Childcare Bonus policy that will offer parents returning to work from parental leave $100 per day for childcare services for a period of six months, effective 1 July 2016.
The innovative policy is part of the third phase of the agency’s family first initiative with the initial phases centered around flexible work arrangements and reward and recognition programs.
The policy, which is thought to be an industry first, is available to employees that have been employed with the agency for two years, with 31 per cent of the employees eligible to access the policy as of 1 July 2016, a figure that will increase by 20 per cent in 2017.
Kevin Macmillan, partner, The Works said. “The Works has always had a strong focus on family and as we have grown over the last five years it was apparent we needed to be more innovative when it came to our people, their needs and wants and how we could support them.
“Ultimately, it’s their talent and drive which defines our success.”
With an average price of $96 per day for childcare in New South Wales the Employer-Funded Childcare Bonus will not be aligned with any one childcare service allowing staff to best select what suits their schedules and location.
“Parents need as much flexibility as possible when it comes to their kids, we wanted to ensure the parents were the decision makers, whether that is a nanny, early childcare center or their parents we want to support that decision and respect that everyone’s situation differs.”
The policy which is available to the child’s primary care giver is set to offer parents the opportunity to continue to pursue their careers while still being able to utulise flexible work hours to accommodate their required schedules.
“We currently have 32 per cent of our staff working part-time after returning from maternity leave who have all supported the policy saying that childcare is one of the major hurdles in returning to work due to the costs associated.”
Additional to the Employer-Funded Childcare Bonus, The Works have also announced a 30 per cent increase to its education and development budget as part of the human resource strategy for 2016.