Wine retailer Vinomofo has opened up on why it holds Bring Your Kids to Work days for its employees, just as research suggests that parental leave policies are confusing expectant parents.
Robyn Djelassi, head of people and culture at Vinomofo, suggested the opportunity for employees to bring their children to work for a day is both a bit of fun but also helps to promote an inclusive and supportive workplace.
Staff, their partners and children are also invited to attend a morning tea at the company’s office in Cremorne, Victoria, with the most recent one held on Thursday (26 September).
“Family is important to us all at ‘the fo’, and we also love our work. Bringing the two together is so much fun,” Ms Djelassi told My Business.
“Our children don’t always understand what we do and where we go every day. When we talk about the day we had when we get home, it’s great that our children can visualise the people and the place.
“Work/life balance is a thing of the past. For us, it’s all about work/life integration.”
According to Ms Djelassi, team members share the responsibilities of caring for children, with Thursday’s event (pictured) seeing 10 children among its 116-strong workforce in the office for the day.
“When someone needed to respond to a call or email, then one of the team jumped in and cared for their children,” she said.
“Many of us took our laptops to work around the ping-pong table while the children played. It takes a village!”
According to Ms Djelassi, even employees who don’t have children were keen to engage with kids on the day and “made them feel super welcome”.
“Our creatives were helping children with their drawings, the VinoDirect team held their daily stand-up around the kids and we all just generally had fun,” she said.
“Children bring a great energy to our office and Bring Your Kids to Work Day is certainly one of the most fun and definitely the cutest day of the year!”
Ms Djelassi said that Bring Your Kids to Work Day is an annual event hosted by the business, and is generally held during school holidays when parents often struggle with day care options.
“We look forward to it every year, and so do our children,” she said.
Not just workers struggling with childcare
However, it is not just employees who struggle to balance work and child-rearing.
Many business owners also grapple with how to care for their children while also keeping their business running smoothly.
My Business readers have previously said that school holidays can be particularly challenging, especially the long Christmas break when cash flows can be tight and childcare options restricted due to holiday shutdowns.
Separately, a study of 1,889 entrepreneurs in May this year suggested that female business owners work longer hours than their male counterparts, thanks to an unequal balance of childcare responsibilities over and above running their business.
Leave policies confusing parents
Meanwhile, for workers who are expecting a baby, navigating parental leave policies is proving to be difficult, according to a study by AMP.
Its biannual Financial Wellness study — based on online interviews with 2,000 Australian employees, conducted in July 2018 — found that one in five primary caregivers had taken employer-funded leave, despite not being clear as to what exactly those benefits included.
According to AMP, half of expectant parents had no clue about what happens to their super during parental leave.
An even higher proportion (67 per cent) were not aware that government parental leave schemes don’t include superannuation, it said.
And very few knew that employers are not required to pay super on paid parental leave (83 per cent) or that some employers still choose to do so for their employees (89 per cent).
“Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in your life, but planning your baby budget can be one of the most stressful,” said Ilaine Anderson, director of workplace super at AMP.
She urged employers to communicate their policies with expectant parents well before the baby is born.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.