Recent research has found that there is a positive correlation between flexibility and workplace inclusion. Employees with flexible working arrangements are found to more likely to be in an inclusive work environment. To continue providing a supportive and inclusive work environment, Avanade has introduced a range of Family Forming Benefits for their permanent employees in Australia.
One of the new benefits is a Fertility Treatment Leave designed to support employees undergoing Assisted Reproductive Treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The company also expanded the definition of its Compassionate Leave to support employees or their partners who have experienced pregnancy loss through miscarriage. The same leave benefit can be used by employees from a First Nations background for ceremonial events in relation to the passing of a family member or friend.
“As a people-first, purpose-led organisation, we prioritise doing what matters for our people,” says Rebel Berenyi, HR Lead, Avanade Australia. “It’s important to us that we are creating an inclusive and supportive environment where our people can be and do their best.”
Avanade also introduced a new Carer’s Support Leave to enhance its flexibility and support for employees with caregiving responsibilities. Employees can use the leave benefit to provide personal care, arrange for external care, emergency support, medical or non-medical appointments, and carry out power of attorney duties. Currently, more than one in ten Australians are carers, providing unpaid care and support to family members and friends. According to a study by Diversity Council Australia, when workplaces acknowledge the needs of carers, they can reap significant benefits – from productivity levels to job satisfaction and staff retention.
The company also enhanced its Family and Domestic Violence Leave so affected employees can take paid time off to seek assistance, find safe accommodation, and/or emergency childcare.
The new benefits are in addition to existing leave policies and wellbeing programs such as Gender Transition Leave, Alternative Work Week (working contracted hours in fewer days), 18 weeks paid Parental Leave (available to all parents regardless of gender), and My Cultural Day (swapping an Australia-gazetted public holiday with a cultural or religious holiday or event that is currently not recognised as an Australian Public Holiday).
“In this new era of work, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and flexibility and choice will be crucial to enable our employees to thrive,” adds Rebel. “Through our new and enhanced benefits, it will empower our employees to make a genuine human impact in everything they do, personally and professionally.”
Earlier this year, Avanade was awarded the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation for 2021-2023 for the fifth consecutive year.