15 BACK TO NAVIGATION 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Flexible hrs of work Time in lieu Part time work Job sharing Telecommuting Unpaid leave Carer's leave 24 26 28 30 32 Paid leave for primary care giver Paid leave for secondary care giver Additional leave without pay available 2017 AusLSA Member Performance Access to flexible working by Australian lawyers is relatively high in comparison to comparable professional services organisations and Australian industry in general. The 2017 report results show that our member firms know the importance of introducing flexible working and supporting parents and other carers in the workplace. For example, ninety-seven percent of respondents have a flexible working policy and ninety-one percent have a paid parental leave scheme. In addition, twenty-eight respondents provided paid leave for secondary carers. Firms also offered a wide variety of flexible working options. However, the actual uptake of these policies and practices is not shown in the report. This year all firms were able to report their percentage of women returning to work which is an indicator of the effectiveness of flexible work and other support arrangements to successfully manage their family commitments with their career. On average firms said that fourteen percent of their female legal staff resigned during or within six months after returning from maternity leave. This may indicate that current flexible working options are not sufficient for these women to continue working but may also be impacted by demographic profile and options available to the legal profession. Challenges and Opportunities Both men and women need to utilise flexible working arrangements. When men can work flexibly it allows them to contribute more equally, reducing the caring burden shouldered by women and enabling them to participate more fully in the workforce. Leadership and culture that is supportive of flexible working is also important and all organisations should also consider whether they are forcibly driving the required cultural change through more direct workplace interventions. The potential benefits of flexible working can be countered by spoken and unspoken expectations and consequences of not working traditional hours and locations. A Bain and Co report from 2016 showed that men who worked flexibly said they didn’t feel supported by senior staff and that their flexible work arrangements were viewed negatively by peers and managers. PARENTAL LEAVE OPTIONS FLEXIBLE LEAVE OPTIONS Number of firms Number of firms