“The most beautiful sight in the world is a little child going confidently down the road of life after you have shown him the way” – Confucius

Okay, so Confucius was obsessed with all the little children being boys, but you know what we mean. We don’t want to quibble but surely one of the most beautiful sights in the world is an employer making sure that they provide flexible working arrangements to allow a parent to properly show their kids the way.

We have lots and lots of enquiries from parents (usually mothers) returning to work after parental leave and finding resistance from their Council - whether that be flexible arrangements generally, or part-time arrangements, or starting and finishing time, or flexible or inflexible lunch breaks that allow them to be comfortable and confident that they are properly discharging their obligations as a parent at the same time as getting back in harness at the Council.

The State Award in clause 2 Statement of Intent encourages councils to “ensure flexibility for work and family responsibilities” but too often do we see short-sighted managers and HR challenging child care arrangements, being pretty inflexible about what constitutes flexibility, having unimaginative rules about minimum lunch breaks or inflexible rules about how many days an employer should work to be full time.

Too many councils scared of “establishing a precedent” when a precedent to provide, for example, full-time hours over four days is worthy only of applause and recognition.

If you are a parent wanting more flexible arrangements, or a parent who is currently part-time that wants to return to full-time work and finding a lack of cooperation and sympathy, we can help.

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