Written by: Alys Gagnon
There are many businesses that like to talk about family friendly employment arrangements.
There are less businesses that actually have family friendly employment arrangements.
There are even less businesses that lobby the Government to change the system to make it easier for working parents.
So, it’s nice to share a good news story about a business that walks the talk across the board when it comes to helping employees manage their work/life balance.
Thrive PR is one of Australia’s leading independent public relations agencies, and one of those businesses committed to supporting parents.
Thrive’s family friendly employment arrangements include, two months paid parental leave at full pay in addition to the government’s 18 week paid parental leave scheme, access to paid childcare funding to cover childcare costs up to $150 per day, and parking near premise for mums-to-be in their third trimester of pregnancy.
“Thrive is a workplace that recognises the importance of working parents. We are doing everything possible from a culture and financial perspective to get more women returning to rewarding careers at Thrive and to help them transition back into the workplace,” Thrive founder, MD and working mother, Leilani Abels said.
However, in a statement, Thrive said that their management team has been flabbergasted at the tax implications and complexities of introducing these policies.
“Thrive’s parenting policies currently incur FBT (fringe benefits tax) and there are no rebates when a business pays for childcare. It is a costly exercise, and when you are not a major corporation, it is a significant investment. There are no government incentives for a business to support parents and in fact, we are penalised and taxed. The current system discourages businesses to invest in working parents in women who are important to our economy and Australia’s future and that needs to change,” says Abels.
Thrive is now calling on the new Federal Government to make some big changes for working parents.
In their statement, Thrive asks for tax concessions for small and medium size businesses who are supporting working parents, the removal of fringe benefits tax on company paid child care fees and for the child care rebate to applied to any entity paying a child care fee.
Thrive is also calling for increases in the child care rebate to align with increased child care fees and the increase to the cost of living, and for a higher minimum wage for qualified early childhood educators.
“Thrive values working parents. Our policies demonstrate that we care and understand the unique pressures of working parents,” said Abels.