Flexible Workplaces Good For Women And Business

Flexible working arrangements are improving female workforce participation and boosting business in Victoria.

Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins today released a new study commissioned by the Andrews Labor Government that models the bottom line impact of flexible work.

The report, undertaken by the Nous Group, found flexible work delivered significant savings for all three sampled organisations – DELWP saved $31 million annually, Mercy Health saved $23 million and Wannon Water saved $150,000.

Nous concluded that access to flexible work improves workforce participation and work-life balance – which ultimately boosts productivity. The report also found that flexible work improves staff attraction and retention.

By contrast, the absence of flexible work is shown as a key contributor to the gender pay gap, and drives women out of the paid workforce.

Women continue to perform the bulk of unpaid work and care duties. That means women lose out on higher paying and secure roles that do not offer the flexibility they need to juggle unpaid work with paid work.

Normalising and valuing flexible work also encourages more men to take up the option. If men are supported to work flexibly, it can encourage them to share the burden of unpaid work with women more equally.

The final report includes a model that other organisations can use to calculate the potential return on investment in their own settings. This modelling is a key action under Victoria’s gender equality strategy, Safe and Strong.

To view the report, visit www.vic.gov.au/women.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins

“Today’s report proves that flexible workplaces are not only the right choice but the smart choice.”

“We’re boosting jobs around the state and helping to make work more flexible – to boost workforce participation, close the gender pay gap and help all Victorians better balance work and life.”

Quotes attributable to the Chair of the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council Liberty Sanger

“It’s a compelling case that will give confidence to employers to take the next step towards creating equal, engaged and productive workplaces.”