The Works sets agency standard with new baby daycare bonus

Sydney agency The Works has thrown down the gauntlet to the advertising industry, offering to pay for childcare for staff as part of its push to keep more parents – and women, in particular – from jumping to the corporate side where there are more family-friendly benefits.

Mothers and fathers will be eligible for the childcare payments

Mothers and fathers will be eligible for the childcare payments

The agency will pay $100-per-day towards childcare for new parents from the start of next month as a way to give more back to staff to make the return to work after maternity leave smoother.

Kevin Macmillan, partner at The Works, told Mumbrella the decision to offer the childcare bonus was part of a broader “family first” initiative being run by the agency, which has close to 100 staff.

“It’s for the primary care giver – the mum or the dad, but obviously the majority are mums – that are returning to work,” Macmillan said.

“If we can make it simpler for parents to return to work then we are only going to improve as a business and they are going to be able to stay on the career path they want to stay on.”

The childcare bonus will be available to staff for six months after they return to work after the birth of a child.

The agency currently has 32% of its staff working part-time after having a  baby with many saying the biggest hurdle to returning full-time was the cost of childcare.

“It’s such a natural next step for the industry,” Macmillan said.

“From an emotional perspective, hopefully it positions us as a caring business first, and from a practical perspective it says that The Works is an innovative place to be because putting policies like this in place is not something everyone is doing.”

He said that the agency had looked across a broad range of industries and sought advice from its own clients to see what was best practice, before reaching the conclusion there was more that could be done in the advertising industry.

“You walk into an agency at 7:00pm in the evening and you see 20 parents working at their computers when they really should be at home giving their kids a bath,” he said.

“(As an industry) I think we have a long long way to go because it’s certainly not perfect for mothers and for fathers.”


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