Stone & Wood has launched a childcare support benefit scheme to help employees and their partners as they head back to work.
The scheme promises up to $5,000 to help cover professional childcare fees within 18 months of the birth or adoption of a child by an employee, or their partner when they return to work.
Stone & Wood’s human resources manager Elise Skinner said that access to childcare can be a real barrier for people.
“It’s about acknowledging that trying to put children into childcare has a financial implication and a financial impact on families,” Skinner explained.
“When we look at our demographic in terms of our workforce we are a very family-oriented business.”
The hope, she said, is that the scheme will contribute to more people getting back into the workforce after having a baby and making that step a little easier.
In its October 2014 Inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning for the Australian Government, the Productivity Commission found that “most Australian children now participate in formal childcare, at least in the year immediately prior to full-time schooling”.
Figures indicate that childcare in Australia is costing families upwards of $80 per day and more than $400 per week. One source estimates that the national average daily spend on childcare is $106.10.
This latest announcement by Stone & Wood follows the brewery’s ongoing pledge to support its staff and the broader community.
The brewery has an established employee share scheme, where after 12 months of full-time service staff members can buy shares in the business.
Stone & Wood has also set up personal and professional development benefit funds for staff to use at their discretion.
“We try to look after our people but it’s also about our motto is brewing a good life for people,” Skinner said.
“We don’t call HR here for that reason, we call it Brewlife.
“We hope that by being part of the Stone & Wood family, people’s experiences are really wonderful and it contributes to their wellbeing and to their world beyond just a place to come to work every day.”
When the childcare benefit scheme was launched in January this year, five Stone & Wood staff members signed up, with several more planning to do so when the time arises.