The best deals for working mothers

When I was working full time (pre-kids), I remember the parents in my office practically throwing a party when an annual leave scheme was introduced that allowed them to spread their leave entitlements over the full school holiday period. This was considered fairly progressive ten years ago. As employees demand a better work/ life balance, employers are seeking various ways to give staff the flexibility to meet work and family commitments.

US-based Working Mother magazine has put together a list of the top one hundred family-friendly companies. The list includes many multi-nationals as well as companies found only in the US – either way, it makes for some interesting reading. For example, American Express has a ‘hub, club, home and roam’ flexible work location policy, Colgate-Palmolive contributes to the education costs of employees’ children and the exciting Deloitte sabbatical program gives employees four unpaid weeks off to do anything they like (climb Everest or hang with kids). My favourite though is WellStar Health System’s concierge service for employees (they can do anything from walk your dog to drop off the forgotten school lunch), not to mention the addition of breastfeeding rooms at all of their office sites (a blessing in the age of the open-plan office).

Do you work for a company that is going the extra mile for employees with family commitments? We’ve heard that Australian companies Telstra, Westpac and Macquarie Bank are doing great things and I can personally report that my employer (Babyology) is very family-friendly! What other companies should be on an Australian list?

Thanks to Babyology reader Ursula for the Working Mothers link.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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