19 BACK TO NAVIGATION 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Flexible hrs of work Time in lieu Part time work Job sharing Telecommuting Unpaid leave Carer's leave Puchased leave 24 26 28 30 Paid leave for primary care giver Paid leave for secondary care giver Additional leave without pay available 2018 AusLSA Member Performance Access to flexible working by Australian lawyers is relatively high in comparison to other professional services organisations and Australian industry in general. The recent uptake of digital technologies in the industry have assisted law firms to develop programs and increase flexible working options. The 2018 reporting results show that our member firms know the importance of introducing flexible working for all staff as well as supporting parents and other careers in the workplace. All report respondents have a flexible working policy in place. Ninety-three percent of firms also provide paid parental leave for secondary carers in addition to their paid primary carer schemes. The percentage of women returning to work after maternity leave can be an indicator of the effectiveness of flexible work and other support arrangements to successfully manage their family commitments with their career. On average fourteen percent of female legal staff from our reporting firms resigned during or within six months after returning from maternity leave. This may indicate that current flexible working options are not sufficient for these women to continue working but may also reflect demographic profile and options available to the legal profession. This year we have observed a number of firms delivering programs to improve the acceptance of flexible working and promoting an increase in the number of staff utilising these options. We have also seen a greater number of support programs to assist parents to better balance their family and work objectives. AusLSA will seek further information about these programs for our 2019 report. Challenges and Opportunities A Bain and Co report from 2016 showed that men who worked flexibly said they didn’t feel supported by senior staff and that their flexible work arrangements were viewed negatively by peers and managers. Achieving the benefits of successful flexible working programs depend on their effective delivery and uptake. Both spoken and unspoken expectations of managers, peers and subordinates strongly influence an individual’s perceptions about the true consequences of departing from traditional hours and locations for more flexible options. Leadership and culture which actively supports flexible working is also critical to ensure that dominant working styles do not overwhelm the opportunities to work flexibly. All organisations should also consider whether they are actively driving the required cultural and systems change, through more direct workplace interventions. The uptake of flexible working also needs to be actively and equally targeted to men as well as women. When men can work flexibly it allows them to contribute more equally to their relationships and families which in turn reduces the caring burden traditionally shouldered by women and enables them to participate more fully in the workforce. Active participation by men also reduces the stigma that may be applied to women who more commonly use flexible working options to fulfil family and career needs. PARENTAL LEAVE OPTIONS FLEXIBLE LEAVE OPTIONS Number of firms Number of firms