We are calling on Irish businesses to adopt a model which is in place in the UK which allows employees apply for flexible work. All employees in the UK once they have worked with the same employer for 26 weeks have a legal right to request flexible working.
Also this week discussions are taking place at the European Council in relation to better improving the work/life balance for European citizens.
Businesses must to do more to support women and men in the workforce. The cost of childcare is a major issue for working parents and this is something the current Government is focused on. It is important that businesses play their part too.
A lot of women want to go back to work after having children but it can be hard managing family and work life for both men and women. That is why I am calling on businesses across Ireland to put in place supports for ensuring women and men and offer more options for flexible work practices should they require them.
Also today flexible recruitment agency, Employmum launched its “Back to Work Programme” which is a professional internship designed specifically for people with particular skills and experience, most often women, returning after an extended career break. The internship is a short-term placement, usually six months and it allows the returner to refresh their existing skills and experience while gaining relevant and up to date experience which may be missing from their CV. The initiative is being supported by DePuy Synthes Engineering Science and Technology Group as part of JNJ Re-ignite Program. As part of the programme the company offers returning professionals additional training, an extended induction period and the provision of ongoing mentoring to ensure that they make a seamless transition back to the workforce.
Karen O’Reilly, founder of Employmum said: “We are very excited about launching out returnship programme and we are calling now on companies to get involved and show their support for those who workers who want to get back into the workforce after taking time out to care for their children.”
“It’s great to see the Government doing more for working parents. As great as these initiatives are companies need to engage with their employees and make sure they are happy in their working environment and are supported. Offering flexible working to staff can go a long way to ensure a happy and productive workplace. I would urge companies to embrace flexible working so they can obtain and retain the best talent.”
Marguerite O’Sullivan, Innovation Engineering Manager at DePuy Synthes said: “Many talented professionals have fallen out of the labour market due to family commitments and I believe we can help to bring them back. We also have a commitment to diversity in Engineering Science and Technology seeking to build teams that are diverse as the market that we serve.”