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Flexible work policy being developed for officers

Flexible work policy being developed for officers

Flexible work policy being developed for officers

16 August 2018

Photo: Christin Hume

By Lauren Martin

A national survey of selected Salvation Army officers on flexible working arrangements has found that around three-quarters either now have, or have previously had, challenges balancing work, faith, family life and other commitments.

The survey was part of the work of the Australia Territory Gender Equity Committee. In June, National Gender Equity Advocate and National Secretary for Women’s Ministries, Colonel Julie Campbell, wrote to all officers asking for expressions of interest in participating in a survey on flexible working arrangements.

Colonel Campbell says while many Australians struggle with work-life balance and the issue isn’t unique to officers, “the committee was seeking to better understand the key issues, challenges and perspectives of officers as part of its policy work regarding flexible working arrangements.”

From that, 64 officers were surveyed from a broad range of demographic groups including men, women, married, single, different age brackets and from both city and rural/regional areas.

Major Michelle Gibson, from Narrogin Corps in Western Australia, gave her assessment of the survey results in the latest Australia One update: “Officers sometimes experience guilt over flexible working hours because there are no clear guidelines on this. The degree of flexibility seems to depend very much on appointment. There is stress when spouses have separate appointments with different expectations.”

“Officership is a vocation, not a nine-to-five job,”says Major Gibson. “Officers do not leave their work when they leave the office, so flexible working arrangements are essential for them to maintain a healthy, balanced life.”

The survey results have led to the Gender Equity Committee referring a number of recommendations to the National Personnel Department including:
– developing a policy around flexible working arrangements;
– implementing individual flexible working plans for officers;
– communicating current and future flexible working arrangements to officers and their leaders.

Colonel Julie Campbell has written an email to all officers to communicate the results of the survey. To read the email, which contains all of the findings, click HERE

The Gender Equity Committee also recognises the need for flexible working arrangements for staff. As part of the national policy consolidation, existing policies for flexible working arrangements for employees are being reviewed. “The committee is working with Human Resources to look what is working well, and where we might be able to make improvements,”said Colonel Campbell. “Watch this space!”

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