Minter Ellison Perth has this week been named the winner of one of six national work-life balance awards, offered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
The firm's Perth office took out the award in the business and professional services category, in recognition of the range of work-life balance initiatives implemented by the firm since 2006 - including efforts to overcome high staff turnover and low staff engagement.
The firm moved to make cultural changes and employed various initiatives such as offering up to 12 weeks paid parental leave for the primary caregiver; the ability for fathers to work shorter days at full pay for the first three months after the birth of a child; work from home days; subsidised in-house massages; paid study/scholarship leave; and the ability for an employee to develop an individual plan to help them achieve better work-life balance.
"One strategy that has worked well is that managers consider each request for flexible work arrangements on a case-by-case basis," said people and development manager, Louise Shelton. "Once an arrangement is made, there is a three-month trial period to make sure that arrangement is working for the employee as well as the business," she explained.
The employees of the 197-partner firm said the new initiatives have been a "win-win" for all involved and an important achievement in an industry which is known for long hours and demanding workloads, as noted by managing partner, John Poulsen.