What Is Family Friendly Employment?

what is family friendly employment Family friendly employment is different things to different people.

This week our job listings rose from 100 or so jobs to over 800 with more increases due in the coming weeks and months.  The increase has prompted a number of users to ask “What is family friendly employment?” as a few of the available positions didn’t suit their circumstances.

The easy answer would be any employment opportunity that a parent finds suitable to their situation, but it’s a bit more complex than that.  What works for you, may not necessarily work for your neighbour.  And that’s where the breadth of positions available on www.schoolhours.com.au might be confusing.  Perhaps the Government’s definition below can sort it out for us? (haha)

Family Friendly Employment Definition *

Best practice employers foster flexibility to achieve a better balance between work and family responsibilities for all employees. From reduced absenteeism to improved productivity and job satisfaction, there are significant benefits for employees and employers in providing flexibilities for work and family balance.

Work and family flexibilities ensure employers and employees balance work and family commitments by using employment arrangements that help employees manage family and lifestyle commitments while taking into account business needs. The benefits of work and family flexibilities can be achieved in all workplaces, regardless of the size of the business, by developing and implementing family-friendly workplace policies.

* Source: Fair Work Ombudsman Australia

Maybe not!  Being a national website, we know we’re catering for a broad range of individuals and so we’re trying to cover as many peoples needs as possible.  That means you can expect to see typical family friendly employment opportunities like part-time, casual, telework and school hours alongside less traditional positions like flexible-full-time, compressed hours, term-time and even DIDO (drive-in-drive-out)/FIFO (fly-in-fly-out) roles.

Types of family friendly employment you’ll find on www.schoolhours.com.au

Flexible Full-Time:

Flexible full-time is the combination of multiple family friendly employment concepts into one. It means early starts and finish times or late starts and late finishes, it could mean working from home or a remote location some days and doing more hours one day in preparation to do less in a coming day or week.


Telework is working regularly from a place other than the office, in most cases from a home office. Telework utilises information and communications technology to stay connected to colleagues and work systems. Telework is one of the most common of forms of flexible working arrangement with employers offering both part-time and full-time opportunities.


Job sharing is a flexible work arrangement that generally entails two (or more) people performing a job that is normally done by a single person in a full time position. Even though job sharing has been around since the 1980’s, it is a concept that has not been broadly applied in Australian workplaces.


Fly-in-fly-out or FIFO (drive-in-drive-out – DIDO), as it is commonly called now, is a form of flexible full-time work. It is most commonly found in the mining, oil and gas industries, where work sites are often in geographically remote areas. The workers for these sites are transported in from where they live and are then transported back at predetermined intervals.

Part-Time, Casual (encompassing School Hours):

Part time and casual work hours have been part of the employment scene for a very long time and would be considered the most common types of flexible work arrangements available. Part time workers work for an agreed number of hours each week whilst casual employees work as required.


While seemingly not that common in Australia, term-time employment is still a very valid family friendly employment option for parents of school age children.  As the name suggest, it’s essentially working during the school terms only. This can be full-time, part-time or casual and incorporate other flexible employment types such as telework. The main benefit to parents are that they eliminate their care needs during school holiday periods. The main benefit to employers would be the rigidity of the scheme as they know in advance when an employee will be present and when they will not and be able to plan for that.

Purchased Leave:

This arrangement enables employees to increase their annual leave entitlement in exchange for a pro rata reduction of remuneration. For example, the employee takes eight weeks of annual leave each year instead of four, and receives payment for 48 weeks per year instead of 52. Again this can be popular with parents who need to cope with school holiday periods.

NB: You can read more on these topics and download fact sheets for further reference here.

We have a family friendly employment dream!

Our family friendly employment dream was to create a website where Australian parents can easily find work that helps them be better parents and better employees, family friendly/flexible work.  While we’re getting there, the site is far from perfect, but be assured that we’re always trying to improve it.

School Hours is a self-funded service run by a husband and wife team.  What you see today has been created from our own heads, hands and hearts.  And those hands have often dipped into our own pockets to get the site to where it is today.  By all means constructively critique our work, but please do so with a view of helping us improve what we’re providing.

If a job listing is permanent and full-time, it should be either be from a known family friendly/flexible employer OR the role itself states that it is flexible.  We do expect some “non-family-friendly” roles to slip through though, so if you see a listings that clearly isn’t family-friendly, please let us know as we’ll have to tighten up our collection parameters.


Leigh Grigaliunas

Leigh is an owner and co-founder of School Hours Pty Ltd.Leigh's passion for helping others coupled with his desire to achieve a balance between raising children and earning a living, lead him to create School Hours Pty Ltd with his wife Yasmin.School Hours will be the place to go for Australian parents wanting to connect with progressive thinking, family friendly employers.

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