Main Roads Western Australia

main roads Business Name Main Roads Western Australia
Business Nature Public Sector
Industry Government/Defence
Product/Service Overview We are responsible for Western Australia’s highway and main roads which represents almost 30% of the States total assets.We are one of the largest geographically spread road agencies in the world, covering 2.5 million square kilometres.As the States road network manager, we are responsible for almost 18 000 km of Western Australia’s 150 000 km road network. This represents some 12% of the network which carries around 60% of road traffic.Our services are delivered through the dedicated and support of employees located in ten regional offices throughout Western Australia.We are committed to achieving the State Government’s vision to provide the best opportunities for current and future generations.We contribute to this by:

  • Engaging with our customers to identify their needs.
  • Ensuring the road network safely links goods, people and places.
  • Facilitating industrial, commercial and business development.
  • Enabling efficient access to other modes of transport.
  • Being a leader within the infrastructure delivery industry.
  • Contributing to the economic advancement to the State and the Nation.
Number of Employees
more than 100

Our Work Life Balance Philosophy

Main Roads offers flexible working arrangements for employees to take advantage of and are formalised in our Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

Main Roads also offers a great Health and Lifestyle program enabling employees to maintain a work life balance and stay fit and healthy.

Our Organisation Benefits

Main Roads is ahead of the industry trends in both staff recruitment and retention.

Our staff members belong to an environment which boasts high morale and participation rates. Consequentially, they are more productive during their working day.

High staff morale has the benefit of decreased absenteeism and tardiness due to the ability of staff to take different types of leave and flexible start and finish times, creating a more satisfied workforce.

Phased retirement initiatives are also of great benefit to Main Roads as we can retain our mature workforce for longer which allows for them to share their knowledge whilst easing them into retirement.

Advice to Other Employers

It is important that the flexible work arrangements that you implement are organisation specific. What works for one organisation may not work in another. So research the demographics of your organisation and start by implementing flexible working arrangements that will benefit them.

For example, if you have an ageing workforce then you could consider implementing a phased retirement plan to stagger the retirement of experienced workers and enable knowledge sharing.

If you have a male dominated workforce, you could implement parental leave that would attract women to your organisation.

Work Life Balance initiatives can only work if all managers support the initiative. According to research undertaken at Main Roads, staff who perceived increased levels of support from their managers reported reduced conflict between their work and personal lives.

Want to Know More?

Some Further Notes from our Organisation

At Main Roads WA, flexible working arrangements are viewed as a productivity enhancement tool rather than a disruption.

We encourage all Main Roads staff members to achieve a Work Life Balance and pride ourselves on being a family friendly organisation. We realise that many employees have commitments outside of work and encourage them to spend adequate time with their family and on outside interests. We know that a happy employee is a productive employee and believe there are a great number of benefits for our employees and to us as employers by promoting flexible working arrangements.

Employees benefit from greater job satisfaction and greater flexibility. This means that parents are able to collect children from school and individuals have the freedom to take part in family and school activities.

Staff members are entitled to take leave in order to donate blood or plasma at the Red Cross and for significant ceremonial or cultural events. Employees can also access paid parental leave as the primary care giver to a new born baby or adopted child. The parental leave arrangement can even be tailored and staff can choose to have either 14 weeks full pay, 28 weeks at half pay or 52 weeks unpaid leave.

To recognise staff members who elect to undertake placements in the Regions, and the difficulties which can be faced in these more isolated roles, Main Roads offers travel concessions, commuted overtime, power subsidies and negotiable periods of placement.

We hold an annual Family Day event to recognise the important role family plays in helping us achieve our organisational goals. We have recognised the importance of 'Family' as one of our Corporate Values which demonstrates our commitment to respecting and supporting our customers, the community and each other.

Main Roads also runs a health and lifestyle program on site, which enables employees to take part in classes over their lunch break and also before or after work. This means that employees can still find the time for exercise without having to pay gym fees and also have greater time for family and other commitments.

We recently undertook a detailed study in to work life balance within Main Roads that determines how we can further improve work life balance in our organisation, something that we as an organisation strongly encourage our employees to achieve.

Work Life Balance Awards/Recognition

2012 IPAA W.S. Lonnie Awards

  • Winner, Gold - Award for Best Occupational Safety, Health and Injury Management
  • Winner, Gold - Award for Category 3 – Agencies > 1,000 FTEs

2012 WA Department of Training Awards

  • Finalist, Employer of the year Award
  • Winner, WA Employer of the Year 2012


  • Finalist of the Employer of Choice for Public Sector

2012 Australian Institute of Management Awards

  • Finalist, WA Employer of the Year 2012



  • Finalist, Employer of the Year Award


  • Highly commended, Mastertek Award for Employer of Choice (Public Sector)


  • Finalist, Employer of Choice (Public Sector category)


  • Highly commended, Mastertek Award for Employer of Choice (Public Sector)
  • Finalist, The Aon Hewitt Award for Employer of the Decade
  • Highly Commended, The Pride in Diversity Award for Workplace Diversity
  • Finalist, The Adecco Award for Innovation in Recruitment and Retention


  • Highly recommended, Hays Award for Innovation in Recruitment and Retention
  • SageCo Employer of Choice Award (Public Sector)


  • High Commendation, Employer of Choice (Public Sector category)
  • High Commendation, Innovation in Recruitment and Retention


  • Winner, Best Workplace Safety and Health Management System

Flexible Working Hours

Main Roads offers a suite of flexible working arrangements for all its employees to take advantage of and these are formalised in our Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, including flexible start and finish times

Job Sharing

Options available to job share

Phased Retirement

Phased retirement plan enables the employee to tailor individual phased retirement plan which can include job share, reducing hours and part time options.

Part time opportunities

Options available to work part time

• Options for working week 37.5 hours or 40 hours

• Flexible working arrangements to accommodate volunteering responsibilities

Volunteer/Community leave

• 2 days personal leave per year can be accessed for the purpose of volunteering
• Main Roads offers Blood/Plasma Donors Leave which entitles the employee to 2 hours paid leave per donation of blood to the Red Cross Blood Centre

Paid Parental Leave

Paid parental leave of up to 14 weeks

Partner Leave

An employee may use one week’s personal leave to take partner leave during the birth of a child to the employee’s partner or adoption.

Cultural/Ceremonial leave

To meet the employees customs, traditional law and to participate in cultural and ceremonial activities

Study leave

Study Leave and Assistance

Purchasable Annual Leave

Employees can purchase up to 10 weeks so they can take longer holidays in line with school holidays or to travel.

Unpaid Leave

Leave without pay to travel and work overseas

• Carers Leave - is available to employee's who are required to provide care and support to a member of their family or household due to an illness, injury or an unexpected emergency

• Flexible long service leave

Wellness Program

Main Roads offers a Health and Lifestyle program

Employee Assistance Program

Free counselling for employees and their families

Social/Sports Club

Active Social Club and fully subsidised Corporate Cup Sports Program

Health/Well-being allowances/discounts

Health Insurance Corporate Rates with most Providers

In addition Main Roads offers a Health and Lifestyle program and in recognition of the difficulties faced by regional employees a number of incentives including STD phone subsidies, annual travel concessions and accommodation allowances
• Special assistance for employees in regional placements
• A workplace giving program has been set up so that our employees can make tax free donations
• Participation in charity bike rides


Graduate Business

Employment Status
Average Weekly Working Hrs


Age Group
35 - 39

In my personal experience Main Roads has supported me to achieve work life balance by enabling me to structure work and life into my daily routine. The flexibility that has been afforded to me makes me feel valued by the organization and motivates me to be productive and effective in my role.

How important is work life balance to you and why?

Work life balance is critical to me. There will never be enough hours in the day to achieve everything that I would like to, but finding the time to work and the time to have a life has been made more achievable through the flexible work options available to me at Main Roads.

What work life balance practices have you used that are offered by your organisation?

• Part-time employment

• Flexible start and finish times

• Carers leave

What has been the major benefit to your life due to work life balance practices that you have accessed through your work?

Being able to work part-time and contribute in a professional capacity provides me with satisfaction and adds value and balance to my life.

I have been able to take my daughter to her first day at school and I have not had to miss any special school activities such as Mother’s Day morning Tea, Assembly, Sports Day and I have been able to make a meaningful contribution to my child’s education through parent helper responsibilities.

Personal Benefits

• Less stress and anxiety as I feel that I am able to meet my personal and professional obligations.

• Personal development through workplace training, mentoring and practical application.

Family Benefits

• I can be flexible and do pickups, drop offs, attend special events, and take the kids to after school activities.

• My children are not disadvantaged by not having a stay at home Mum.

Organisation Benefits

• I feel loyal to an organization that values my health and wellbeing and the wellbeing of my family.

• Increased job satisfaction and retention rates.

How has your organisation managed to achieve the benefits of work life balance?

Through best practice research and internal consultation leading to the adoption of initiatives that supports the organisations values and corporate strategies.

What is unique about the work life balance practices that are offered by your organisation?

Main Roads takes a holistic approach to wellbeing and understands that wellbeing beyond the workplace is just as important as within it. This means that at Main Roads the flexible work options are diverse, well promoted and supported by Management and well utilised by staff.

Do you feel that work life balance initiatives are available to most staff?


Can you offer any advice to others who want to manage their work life balance better?

Research the options available within the organisation, speak to your Manager and mentor about the challenges you face and how you can work through them together to achieve a more balanced outcome.



Employment Status
Average Weekly Working Hrs


Age Group
45 - 49

If work life balance options weren’t offered by Main Roads, I wouldn’t be working at Main Roads.

How important is work life balance to you and why?

Very important because it allows me to attend to my family so and I can free up time for my wife to continue with her successful career.

What work life balance practices have you used that are offered by your organisation?

I work part-time (three days per week).

What has been the major benefit to your life due to work life balance practices that you have accessed through your work?
Personal Benefits

Has allowed me to spend more time with my children than ‘normal’ working dads.

Family Benefits

Three fold benefit. My children can spend more time with their dad. It allows my wife to focus on her work. Finally, working part time has allowed me to take care of my dependent elderly father. He has advanced Parkinsons Disease and requires a lot of assistance to be able to still live in his own home.

Organisation Benefits

With respect to offering part-time employment, Main Roads benefits by retaining employees with skills developed over a long time.

Community Benefits

I have time available to be involved with a community group. This encourages interaction and relationship development in my children with others, as well as myself.

How has your organisation managed to achieve the benefits of work life balance?

By actively being leaders in the field of work life balance.

What is unique about the work life balance practices that are offered by your organisation?

I commenced part-time employment in 2005. I believe Main Roads were pioneers in offering such a work arrangement then, and I was amazed by the support I received from my manager and the organisation as a whole.

Do you feel that work life balance initiatives are available to most staff?

Yes, as evidenced by the many varied work arrangements of staff in our office.

Can you offer any advice to others who want to manage their work life balance better?

If you feel you can benefit by spending more time away from work, then speak to your manager about the options available to you.

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