Introduction

Creating a family-friendly workplace through implementing family-friendly employment practices can help relieve employees from work stress and the pressure of taking care of their families. With their mind at ease, employees can be more devoted at work and will contribute positively to the enterprise’s efficiency and competitiveness.

Cultivating a family-friendly culture in workplaces through adopting family-friendly employment practices can help employees balance work and family responsibilities. Such measures can also help build up a positive image for enterprises and create an edge in attracting and retaining talents.

Family-friendly employment practices (FFEPs) are good human resource management measures adopted by employers to help employees balance work and family responsibilities. Employers can put in place different types of FFEPs, having regard to their company size, resources and culture, as well as employees’ family needs, to serve the best interests of the enterprises and the employees.

Examples of FFEPs include:

  Special leave to meet employees’ family needs
  Provide marriage leave to employees getting married
  Provide working parents with parental leave for attending school functions of their children
  Introduce filial leave to employees for celebrating their parents’ birthdays to show their filial piety
  Offer compassionate leave during the time when employees have to take care of domestic duties when a family member dies or is sick
  Allow employees taking special casual leave to deal with urgent family matters
  Flexible work arrangements
  Implement a five-day work week so that employees can spend more time with their family when having two rest days per week
  Facilitate employees to better manage their family commitments through adopting flexible working hours or flexitime and let them choose the time of reporting and leaving work within the agreed limits
  Make arrangement for employees to work from home
  Job sharing by two or more persons
  Support for the employees and their families
  Offer medical protection for employees and their family members
  Provide child care service to relieve employees’ pressures in looking after their young and school age children
  Arrange counselling services on stress or emotional management for employees and their family members
  Set up a nursing room at the workplace to facilitate breastfeeding for working mothers
  Organise recreational activities for employees and their family members
  Provide scholarships for employees’ children

A family-friendly working environment can only be realised with the management recognition of relevant concept and their full support in terms of resources and action. The co-operation and mutual support from every member of the enterprise are also the key elements in cultivating a family-friendly workplace.