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‘Work and family life are very entwined’, says CBP

Bridging the gap between home and work and improving equity in the workplace means having progressive policies and initiatives in place — which is why this firm has become the first to become an accredited family-friendly workplace.

user iconLauren Croft 15 November 2022 Big Law
‘Work and family life are very entwined’, says CBP
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In September, Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) launched a Work + Family Hub for firm staff, which includes interactive resources, webinars, podcasts, and courses across a variety of topics, including Preparing for Parental Leave, Career Life Alignment, Working Dads, Balance and Wellbeing, Raising Toddlers, or Teens, Supporting Grandchildren, Rainbow Families, Neurodiverse Families, Navigating Aged Care and more.

The hub is part of the firm’s partnership with Parents at Work — making CBP the first firm to launch the hub and be accredited as a family-friendly workplace by Parents at Work.

In conversation with Lawyers Weekly, CBP managing partner Nick Crennan said that the variety the hub offers has been beneficial to a wide range of firm employees.


“Balance is an important part of our culture at Colin Biggers & Paisley, and the resources the hub delivers support workplace flexibility and innovation,” he said.

“Everyone is managing work and balancing family responsibilities. While priorities and responsibilities may be different, we all need the support of our colleagues and workplace. What’s great about the hub is that there is something for everyone — from podcasts to toolkits, it can all be accessed anytime, any place.”

Parents at Work partner with business and community organisations to improve gender equality and work/life wellbeing outcomes, through initiatives like the Family-Friendly Workplace Certification for employers. Founder and chief executive Emma Walsh said that a key part of programs like these is to bridge the gap between home and work.

“Parents At Work’s goal is to help organisations to implement a work and family action plan in their workplace,” she said.  

“This includes modernising organisations’ approach to work and family policies and practices; benchmarking and certifying workplaces against National Work + Family Standards.”

The feedback from the program has been overwhelmingly positive so far, with the program an important part of “breaking down barriers”, according to CBP human resources manager Julia Paino.

“Law firms and other professional services firms need to encourage people to have conversations about family life to help break down barriers. Work and family life are very entwined, and being able to bring your best self to work each day is best achieved by having open and honest conversations,” she said.

“Feedback from our employees has been positive; programs like this also help us with the attraction of new talent as it demonstrates our vision and values and the practical support and resources available to our people.”

Moreover, driving greater inclusion and reducing work/life tension for employees increases engagement, productivity, retention and gender equality in the workplace, added Ms Walsh.

“Since the pandemic, work/life tension has reached an all-time high. More than ever before, employers are being called to support their people with policies and practices that enhance work/life wellbeing outcomes,” she said.

“Family-Friendly Workplaces was started as an initiative of Parents at Work and UNICEF Australia to strive to reduce the tension that exists between work and family by embedding and promoting policies and practices that genuinely support employees to thrive at work and at home.”