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Australian employers are choosing to move to an ‘all roles flex’ model for employees, allowing their staff to determine how, where and when they work, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).
A new voluntary question in the WGEA’s 2021-22 Employer Census asked whether employers had implemented an ‘all roles flex’ approach to flexible work, with a response provided by 78% of the nearly 5,000 reporting employers.
Of those, 38% have implemented an ‘all-roles flex’ approach, ensuring the focus is on work output and outcomes – not hours spent in the office.
However, the rates of ‘all roles flex’ offered varied significantly across industry types, with 48% of mixed-gender industry employers offering this flexibility, compared to 30% of male and female-dominated industries.
Male and female-dominated industries are more likely to require a physical presence in the performance of duties, such as nursing, disability care, construction, mining and farming, which may offer an explanation for their comparatively slow uptake.
WGEA Director Mary Wooldridge said employers need to look beyond working from home when thinking about flexibility in the workplace.
“Flexible work is a key driver for gender equality, but employers should be creative to enable their employees to have the flexibility that meets their specific needs,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“Innovative actions we’ve seen from employers include creating shifts specifically within or outside of school hours and offering job sharing or part-time work arrangements for managerial or executive roles. These types of measures make it easier for men and women to equally participate in the workforce – whether that’s from the office or home.”