We're proud to share that Art Processors has been recertified as a Family Inclusive Workplace™, reaffirming our status as an organisation committed to designing a workplace that welcomes and supports families and carers.
Last year, we became one of the first companies in Australia to be recognised by Family Friendly Workplaces, a joint initiative between Parents At Work and UNICEF Australia. Certification provides employers with a benchmark of best practice guidelines and a work and family action plan to help further embed a family-friendly workplace culture.
Vanessa Doake, our Chief People Officer, says the recertification builds on Art Processors' commitment to diversity and inclusion and follows the launch this year of new family and wellbeing initiatives, as well new types of leave and caring support aimed at better supporting families of all kinds.
"With 58% of our workforce having family or carer responsibilities, or even both, it’s important to us that we foster a culture of care, equality, and trust so our people can be their best at work and at home," says Vanessa.
"Our policies and benefits go a long way to acknowledging the pressures families face when balancing work and caring for others. When people feel supported at work, not only do they benefit through better health and wellbeing, but their families and the broader community benefits too."
Leading by example
As an early adopter of Family Inclusive Workplace™ certification, it's no surprise that our first annual report highlighted our industry-leading practices in the categories of Flexible Work and Parental Leave, scoring 91% and 90% respectively.
Organisations that sign up to be certified are provided an action-oriented plan for the creation of a family-friendly workplace culture. Implementation of this plan is reviewed by Family Friendly Workplaces as part of an annual reporting program to retain certification.
"We thought we were on the right track with what we instinctively believed we should be designing into our policies, so it's validating to know that what we've implemented is not only forward thinking but industry leading," says Vanessa, who recently won a Pause Award in the ‘Women in Business' category for her work. The award recognises successful female leaders and entrepreneurs who are paving the way forward for future generations.
We have been consistently progressive when it comes to our parental leave commitments, offering flexible, gender-neutral, label-free policies and return-to-work support for our people.
We offer 20 weeks of paid leave for new parents after the birth, adoption or long-term foster care of a child. We commit to an individually tailored keeping-in-touch program while employees are on leave, flexibility when returning to work, and also support employees undergoing IVF or that choose to be a surrogate. That's on top of our generous personal, life, and compassionate leave benefits, support and resources for working parents, and more.
Strategic Design Director Jonny Kirk has taken advantage of our parental leave policies to tailor his work-life balance following the birth of his son, Julius, in January. After initially taking eight weeks of leave, Jonny returned to work four days a week, and recently switched to working three days a week when his partner returned to work.
He says the flexible parental leave has been particularly beneficial when Julius has been sick or his partner has needed support.
"The parental leave has stretched out in a way that has really benefited my family, especially for my partner so she could focus on getting back to work. It has really taken the stress away,” says Jonny. “I've been able to take a half day here and there when he's sick. Julius was born in January. It's December and I'm only now just using the last of my leave."
What we did in 2022
In continuing to build an industry-leading family-friendly workplace, we launched a range of new policies over the past 12 months:
- Family wellbeing: We expanded our Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy to include family wellbeing with the aim of reducing the tension that can exist between work and family goals. Everyone on our team is encouraged to be mindful of family wellbeing when making work-related requests, such as scheduling meetings that may conflict with school drop-off and pick-up times.
- Grandparents leave: Acknowledging the integral role grandparents so often play as carers, we introduced Grandparents Leave, enabling those on our team who are grandparents to take up to five paid days of leave to support their family after the birth of a grandchild.
- Eldercare and Aboriginal kinship: We've also expanded our existing Support for Carers Policy to include support for eldercare and Aboriginal kinship, ensuring staff members with these types of caring responsibilities can access emergency respite care, back-up carers leave and/or support groups.
What we’re doing in 2023
Aside from family and caring commitments, we recognise that a range of other issues can have an impact on the personal and professional lives of our employees.
In 2020 we implemented a Domestic & Family Violence Policy, providing paid leave to employees who are seeking assistance and/or addressing any needs that arise from domestic and family violence. In 2023 we'll be running family violence and mental health in the workplace training for our staff to understand legislative and legal issues, recognise family violence, and learn how to support those experiencing or perpetrating family violence.
We are also working towards enhancing our support for those going through menopause, which can be potentially debilitating but is typically overlooked in many workplace policies. Our existing Menstrual and Menopause Policy provides paid leave days to enable time for self-care.
Vanessa explains this is another key area for further support we'll be exploring next year: "There's so little in this space that is truly impactful or innovative," she says. "The best information is around providing leave or making sure people have great spaces to work in. What should support look like? I'm really interested to unpack and discover."