Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Encouraging flexible workplaces for Australia’s carers

Employers are being encouraged to provide flexible working arrangements for carers under the Australian Government’s Care Aware Workplaces program.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas said registrations are currently open for the program that is designed to improve workplace arrangements for carers.

“Having a supportive employer can make a huge difference to a carer staying in the workforce,” Senator McLucas said.

“By becoming a Care Aware Workplace, workplaces commit to better understanding the needs and values of carers and to encourage flexible workplace arrangements for them.

“The benefits go both ways – by improving working arrangements for unpaid carers, employers can help carers balance their job with their caring role. And in turn, businesses will benefit from increased staff energy and engagement, and see a reduction in staff turnover and retraining costs.”

“This is about creating a truly inclusive community. We want carers to have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of society, including the chance to participate fully in work, community and family life.”

Senator McLucas said Australia has around 2.6 million unpaid carers, supporting family members and friends with disability, medical conditions or mental illness, or who are frail or aged.

“With more than 2 million of these carers of workforce age, many people may be surprised to learn that their colleagues may have caring responsibilities.

“The spotlight on the Care Aware Workplaces program follows the recent commitment of the Australian Government to amend the the Fair Work Act.

“This will extend the right to request flexible work arrangements to workers with caring responsibilities.

Carers Australia Chief Executive Officer, Ara Cresswell said all employers should show their commitment to employees by becoming a Care Aware Workplace.

“Becoming a Care Aware Workplace sends a strong message to all staff that employers understand the needs of employees and the benefits of personalised work arrangements, particularly for carers,” Ms Cresswell said.

The program has been open to businesses since the Care Aware campaign launched in August 2012 and there are 37 organisations with more than 13,696 employees already registered as Care Aware Workplaces.

The Care Aware Workplace program is free, voluntary, self-managed and open to all Australian workplaces.

Commitment to the program can be made online at the Care Aware Workplaces website, with support material and a dedicated guidebook available upon registration.

To register visit