In this issue:


HR Management

Salary Index 2009

Family Friendly
Employment Practices

Making an Employee Redundant

Payroll Outsourcing

Personnel Leasing

Statutory Holidays in 2009:

- China
- Hong Kong
- Japan
- Malaysia
- Singapore
- Taiwan

Corporate Training

The Focus

Public Seminar

Case Analyzes

Credit Management

AR Assessment Tool

Cost of Bad Debt

What Should We Do

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Family-Friendly Employment Practices
Written by Ada Lai

What does 'Family-Friendly Employment Practices' mean?

Family-friendly employment practices refer to good people management measures that help employees balance the responsibilities of their work and families.

In general, family-friendly employment practices may comprise the following measures:


Family leave benefits

Family-friendly employers may give staff time off when they get married, allow fathers to take leave to attend to new-born children, and be understanding about the need for occasional parental leave. Compassionate leave is also important at times of bereavement.

Flexible work arrangements

Examples are five-day workweek, flexible working hours, home-based work, job sharing and a compressed work schedule which allow staff to juggle the requirements of family and work.

Employee support schemes

Support can range from counselling services for employees and their family members, scholarships or education assistance for employees and their dependents to nursery services and recreational activities in which all family members can join.

Employers who would like to adopt family-friendly measures have many options. They can be flexible and innovative about how they introduce specific employment practices to suit the special interests of the organisation and the employees.

Advantages of Introducing Family-Friendly Employment Practices

Both employees and employers gain from the introduction of family-friendly employment practices.

Reduced pressure

Employees feel themselves under less pressure in their working and family life. The reduction of stress means better physical and mental health and less absenteeism through sickness as well as a reduced risk of occupational accidents.

Enhanced efficiency

When family-friendly employment practices are in place, employees feel that it is easier for them to care for their family members. This means they are not distracted by external worries and are thus able to focus fully on their work. As a result, employers benefit immensely from enhanced employee productivity and performance.

Cultivating team spirit

A supportive working environment helps to establish a harmonious relationship between the employer and the employees. This fosters a greater sense of cohesion and team spirit.

Retaining talents

Employee loyalty and a sense of belonging will increase when employees feel they are appreciated and cared for. The result will be a marked drop in staff turnover which will correspondingly reduce recruitment costs for the employer.

Building corporate image

A family-friendly organisation that values its employees as vital partners is meeting its corporate social responsibilities. This helps the organisation to build a positive image and attract diverse talents and it also facilitates the company's long-term development.

Promotion of family-friendly employment practices

The Labour Department actively promotes direct and frank communication between employers and employees to discuss employment conditions and work arrangements. The Department also encourages employers to introduce employee-oriented management measures including family-friendly employment practices.


Everyone should be involved in making the workplace family-friendly. It is not necessarily expensive to introduce family-friendly employment practices. Often it only requires a little thought and consideration plus some imagination. The fundamental requirement is to establish a dialogue between the management and the employees to develop policies and practices that are tailored according to the needs of the staff and the organisation. Internally, top management commitment is essential if policies and practices are to be implemented successfully.