Workplace flexibility, parental leave for men

Entitlements for working men

Workplace flexibility and parental leave are major features of Australian workplaces. However, men's access to and uptake of these entitlements remains low.

According to 2019-20 the Australian Government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency data, men make up 6.5 per cent of people who take primary carer parental leave and only 2.2 per cent of organisations have set targets to improve men's participation in flexible work.

To contend with this, organisations are moving towards gender-neutral policies, offering gender equitable leave and work arrangements for all employees.

Organisations that provide strong, gender-neutral parental leave and flexible working policies are more likely to enjoy better recruitment and retention, as these policies send a message that the organisation supports gender equity and that their employees are valued.

There is a strong business case for men working flexibly and taking parental leave. Access to and uptake of these entitlements can lead to a boost in productivity, an increase in employee wellbeing and improvements to work-life balance.

Designing gender-neutral parental leave policies and supporting fathers and partners to take this leave has extensive benefits for families, organisations and society.

Equally, providing men with access to flexible working arrangements and encouraging its uptake is integral to progressing gender equality in the workplace.

Organisations must support and encourage men to take parental leave and flexible work arrangements. An increase in utilisation of these entitlements will benefit families and businesses.