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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Accreditation brings family-friendly workplaces to life

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Accreditation (BFWA) is a consultancy service for employers provided by the Australian Breastfeeding Association

Through the accreditation process, BFWA assists employers to create a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers returning to work from maternity leave.

Employers are able to offer employment conditions which are appealing to mothers who are breastfeeding. This adds value to recruitment and retention strategies, demonstrates a commitment to employee health and wellbeing, promotes workplace diversity and equal employment opportunity and is aligned with corporate social responsibility.

Why accredit?

Gaining accreditation as a breastfeeding friendly workplace shows that you are serious about providing a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers at work and are committed to removing workplace barriers.

Helping breastfeeding employees return to work from maternity leave is not only demonstrating a supportive and caring approach, it makes good business sense. Through the accreditation process, we work closely with you to assist in establishing facilities and developing policies that support breastfeeding women to meet both their work and family commitments
Accreditation is an innovative way to meet organisational objectives:
Optimises recruitment and retention strategies
Promoting your status as an accredited breastfeeding-friendly workplace in recruitment advertising gives employees and potential candidates confidence about the quality of breastfeeding support provided in the workplace. Creating a supportive breastfeeding environment can deliver significant cost savings associated with improved retention rates, earlier return to work, duration of service and reduced recruitment and re-training costs.
Builds your reputation as a family-friendly employer
Formalising workplace policies through the accreditation process indicates a commitment to creating a workplace culture supportive of breastfeeding. It demonstrates transparency of process and shows you are serious about helping women balance work and family commitments. Typically, this is reciprocated through increased employee loyalty and motivation, resulting in improved productivity.

Enhances cost savings associated with a healthier, happier workforce
Research shows breastfed babies are healthier, so parents and carers require less time off work to care for sick children. Anecdotal evidence also suggests bottom-line benefits from reduced absenteeism, and minimising disruption to work flow. Accredited workplaces receive updates on the latest research to demonstrate how breastfeeding support in the workplace benefits employers and employees.

Demonstrates your commitment to equal opportunity and workplace diversity
By offering breastfeeding support in the workplace you're also promoting equal employment opportunity and enhancing your status as a socially responsible employer. Gaining accreditation from the ABA as a breastfeeding-friendly workplace reflects a commitment to the health and well-being of pregnant, potentially pregnant and breastfeeding employees.

Even if your organisation already has breastfeeding facilities for employees, accreditation will help promote and communicate what your workplace offers to staff and potential candidates. Our consultation services ensure that your workplace provides the right combination of time, space and support that allows mothers to balance their paid work with breastfeeding. Accreditation keeps the needs of breastfeeding mothers on the workplace agenda.

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