Today, the Australian Government has announced it’s going to give more employees the right to request flexible working arrangements.
Pregnant women, new mothers and carers will soon have their right to ask their employer to work around their own personal needs enshrined in legislation – IF the Government has its way.
Ged Kearney, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions thinks this is a good start but that far more needs to be done to make sure that new mums and pregnant women aren’t discriminated against at work.
She writes exclusively for Mamamia…
By GED KEARNEY
When I fell pregnant with my first child I was a 23 year old nursing student. I’ll never forget the moment I found out and the dread I felt telling the nuns who managed the hospital that I’d need to take a break from my studies.
I was worried that my career would end before it had begun. Family friendly work or study arrangements were unheard of then for a student nurse. It was commit full-time or nothing at all.
But I was lucky.
My wonderful, supportive mother vouched for me. She sat down across from my employer and informed them that I had the necessary support to return to nursing once the baby was born.
So I moved in with my mum, gave birth to my beautiful baby girls (twins) and 7 weeks later I resumed my nursing studies. My husband – a chef also on irregular hours – and I had two more babies.1