Recently the Australian Government launched the Fresh Ideas for Work and Family Grants Program. This grant is designed to help Australian small businesses implement practices that support employees balancing work and family commitments. It is hoped that this will improve employee retention and productivity. Please note that no further rounds of this Program will be run.

The Program provides grants of up to $15,000 (GST exclusive) to small businesses to help meet the set-up costs of family friendly arrangements that suit the individual needs of the business. To be eligible your business must have between 1 and 14 employees and can include companies, sole traders, partnerships, non-government, not-for-profit and a group of up to 3 small businesses.

In addition, the Program supports small businesses by developing and distributing business and industry specific information to assist in implementing some of the new family friendly work arrangements. Also, experts within the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman are available to provide assistance and advice to small businesses seeking to set up family friendly work arrangements.

The Program is administered in funding rounds by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. However, this round closes on 31 March 2010 so get it quick and take advantage of this opportunity! Flexible work arrangements are not just a benefit to your employees, happy workers equal a productive workplace.

For further information regarding the Fresh Ideas for Work and Family Grants Program or for any other employment law or small business advice contact The Quinn Group on 1300 QUINNS or click here to submit an online enquiry.