Mercy Health

Business Nature
Not for Profit
Industry
Healthcare/Medical
Product/Service Overview
Mercy Health is a Catholic community benefit organisation founded by the Sisters of Mercy to deliver health, aged care and community services. Each year we care for nearly half a million people across Victoria, southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. We offer acute andsub-acute hospital care, aged care, mental health programs, specialist women’s healthcare, early parenting support, palliative care, home and community care, and health worker training and development.
Number of Employees
More than 1000
Locations
NSW, VIC, ACT
Website www.mercyhealth.com.au

Our Work Life Balance Philosophy

Mercy Health is committed to equal opportunity in employment and providing a flexible workplace that assists all of our people to balance their work and life. Whilst the values are the key business drivers in supporting our people, Mercy Health has developed and implemented a range of flexible workplace policies and procedures that promote respect, value diversity and assist our people to grow their careers while balancing the demands of life, through the different life stages. We want to be able to deliver a truly compelling employment offer that meets the needs of our people including those with caring responsibilities.

Work Life Balance Awards/Recognition

  • EOWA Employer of Choice for Women citation 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • EOWA Business Achievement Awards 2009 – Leading Organisation for the Advancement of Women (800+ employees)
  • Diversity @ Work Awards 2009 – Diversity and Inclusion Champion (Large Organisation)
  • HR Leadership Awards 2009 – The Aon Consulting Award for Best Workplace Diversity Champion
  • Working Families Council 2010 – Fair and Flexible Employer Recognition Award
  • Australian Business Awards 2011 – Recommended Employer
  • AHRI Awards 2011 – Sir Ken Robinson Award for Workforce Flexibility

Advice to Other Employers

At Mercy Health assisting our people to balance their careers with the demands of life is a business imperative. Our programs and initiatives are constantly evolving to ensure we keep up to date with the needs of our people. To ensure that our organisation remains sustainable, programs and initiatives:

  • Are directly linked to both the overall group strategy and integrated in to our policies and procedures
  • Have a long term orientation
  • Are constantly evaluated to identify trends and gaps to assist in workforce planning

Casual opportunities

Casual working arrangements are available across our organisation. In addition Mercy Health also enables casual work through our Mercy Bank program. Mercy Bank provides an internal 'bank' of casual employees to fill ad hoc shifts and allows employees on parental leave to move in and out of casual work.

Flexible Working Hours

Mercy Health considers all requests for flexible working arrangements based on merit, in line with the provisions of the National Employment Standards.

Job Sharing

All requests for job share arrangements are considered and approved where circumstances are appropriate to accommodate a job share arrangement.

Part time opportunities

Almost 50% of our workforce are employed on a part time basis. Part time arrangements are open to all employees across all areas of our business.

Phased Retirement

Phased retirement arrangements allow our employees to reduce their hours of work to facilitate a transition from regular employment to retirement.

Work from Home

All requests for work from home are considered and approved where circumstances are appropriate to accommodate a work from home arrangement.

Mercy Health acknowledges that many people combine both family and work, and acknowledges that there may be times when employees need to bring a child or children to work. Our policy applies to emergency or extraordinary circumstances where alternative child care cannot be found.


Cultural/Ceremonial leave

Cultural/Ceremonial Leave is dependent on the employee's relevant award, agreement or common law contract.

Paid Parental Leave

Paid Parental Leave is provided to all employees however varies in accordance with the employee's terms of employment.

Volunteer/Community leave

Mercy Health is a community benefit, values based organisation that through its mission has a responsibility to help strengthen and support the communities in which we live and work. All Mercy Health employees have access to two paid volunteering days per annum.

Purchasable Annual Leave

Mercy Health's Purchased Leave policy allows employees to access up to an additional four weeks annual leave per year by adjusting their salary over an agreed period of time. Purchased leave provides our people with the opportunity to take additional leave to recharge their batteries.

Study leave

Mercy Health is committed to developing and supporting our people to further their learning. Study Leave is available across the organisation to support further learning and education.

Unpaid Leave

Unpaid Leave is available across the organisation and is dependent on Manager Approval.


Breastfeeding Policy

Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) accredited breastfeeding facilities are available across Mercy Health facilities and are available to employees and volunteers who are breastfeeding or expressing.

Childcare

The challenge of balancing work and family responsibilities highlighted the need for provision of childcare services. Mercy Health sponsors a national childcare referral program providing employees with free access to consultants who can research the availability of child care to suit their individual needs.

Employee Assistance Program

Our Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential short term counseling and support to all employees and immediate family members. The program is easily accessible, voluntary and provides support for a range of personal or work related issues.

Health/Well-being allowances/discounts

The Mercy Health Medibank Corporate Plan is available to all employees and provides discounted health cover, travel insurance and pet insurance.

Salary packaging is available to all employees. The principal aim of salary packaging is to legitimately restructure the way in which employees receive income so as to reduce their taxable income. Salary packaging provides many benefits for employees by allowing flexibility in the way they receive their salary.


Position

Nurse Manager - Psychiatry

Employment Status
Full Time
Average Weekly Working Hrs

40

Gender
Male
Age Group
31 - 40

Mercy Health employees enjoy a healthy work / life balance through flexible initiatives designed to suit both the employee and employer.

How important is work life balance to you and why?

Work life balance is extremely important to me to ensure I can enjoy the best of both and perform at my best both at home and at work.

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

Flexible rostering arrangement to enable me to spend time with my young children rather than having to use childcare.

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

Valuable time spent with my family and being able to enjoy the flexibility of family contribution whilst also being able to advance in my chosen career.

Family Benefits

I am able to work a rotating shift work roster as a manager to allow me to care for my children when my wife is working. I am not forced to use childcare.

Organisation Benefits

Because of flexibility my employer offers me I am able to come to work and enjoy the contributions I make, I feel more motivated to achieve quality outcomes.

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

They have allowed me to progress in my career whilst being flexible with the rostering arrangements to accommodate my young children.

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

It is unusual to be able to work in a combined managerial / clinical role across a shift work roster and not have to be in the office Monday to Friday 9 - 5.

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

Yes in most cases there is flexibility and options, particularly for parents.

Position

Associate Nurse Unit Manager

Employment Status
Part Time
Average Weekly Working Hrs

32

Gender
Female
Age Group
31 - 40

Mercy Health's work life balance initiatives are readily available to all staff and are an excellent example of the organisation’s core values.

How important is work life balance to you and why?

Being someone that enjoys and takes pride in their work as well as a mother to two young children it is extremely important to me that I have a good work life balance

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

When I was on Maternity leave with my youngest child I was able to return to work on a casual basis, this allowed me to contribute financially to my family, maintain my work skills and spend the time I needed with my children.

After returning to my contracted hours I have been fortunate enough to have flexibility in my roster that has allowed me to maintain work life balance.

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

More quality family time, less stress and 'business'.

Personal Benefits

Less anxiety related to scheduling clashes between my husband’s work, my work and our children’s commitments.

Family Benefits

I have flexibility within my roster, such as finishing work a little early if I need to collect my children. This alone decreases the stress associated with balancing work and family life.

Organisation Benefits

Because my organisation is supportive of work life balance, I have been able to continue in my role within the organisation rather than seeking more flexible alternatives elsewhere.

Community Benefits

Because of the effort my organisation makes to retain their staff the greater community benefits in that skilled key workers remain in the area servicing the local community.

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

-

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

I am unaware of any other health board that offer the same practices in terms of being able to work in a casual capacity while on maternity / paternity leave.

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

Work life balance initiatives are readily available for all employees of Mercy Health

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

My advice would be to seek employment with an organisation that acknowledge the importance of work life balance and have initiatives in place for their staff to achieve this.


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