DUBAI, As many individuals in the UAE face challenges in balancing work and family obligations, parent-friendly workplace policies allow parents to care for their children’s well-being, benefitting individuals, the economy and society as a whole. This was one of the key takeaway messages from a webinar organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, to introduce the Parent-Friendly Label programme to the business community in Dubai.
The webinar was held in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) and the chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business to promote the programme and encourage Dubai-based businesses to apply for the label.
The ECA first launched the Parent-friendly Label in 2021 in Abu Dhabi Emirate, the first programme of its kind in the region. The success of the programme's first cycle, with six organisations earning the label for implementing parent-friendly policies, has inspired a nationwide roll-out in November last year.
Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said, “The promotion and expansion of work practices and environments that enable individuals to effectively balance their professional and family responsibilities, especially for parents who care for young children, is of critical importance in building healthy societies and sustainable economies. Work-life balance is a pressing policy issue for our business community."
He added, “In this context, the Parent-friendly Label is a great initiative to encourage organisations to adopt more parent-friendly policies and child-supportive practices. As part of our efforts to improve Dubai's favourable business environment, we will continue to promote and prioritise awareness and advocacy initiatives that support parents to balance their professional and childcare obligations.”
Sharing similar sentiments, Sana Suhail, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, said, "Through this national programme, we aim to help parents achieve a balance between work, family and childcare in the early years. We invite organisations across the country to apply to earn the Parent-friendly Label for its numerous benefits.
"It can help them attract and retain top talent, saving them time and money. Other benefits can include decreased employee absence, greater productivity, greater profitability and more. They will also have the opportunity to connect to other leaders in this space, sharing learnings and challenges,” she added.
The Parent-friendly Label is a voluntary workplace award programme that specifies a set of criteria that the semi-government, private or third sectors can adapt to be recognised by the ECA for their parent-friendly policies and practices.
Working families in the UAE often need to make difficult trade-offs to fulfil their commitments. By establishing policies and ways of working that are more compatible with the needs of working parents of children aged up to eight, organisations will help foster a parent-friendly workplace culture in the UAE.
Research has shown that flexible working options are important to 90 percent of the UAE workforce. Over half (56 per cent) of people working in the UAE want more emphasis on employee well-being and a work-life balance, according to the Cisco Hybrid Work Report 2022.
This is the first public webinar that the ECA has organised in collaboration with an organisation like Dubai Chambers following the launch of the new nationwide cycle of the Parent-friendly Label programme.
Any private sector, semi-government sector or third sector organisation that has a valid trade licence or operates in a free zone in the UAE can apply, at no direct cost to them, to earn the Parent-friendly Label.
Interested businesses can complete the online application form on the ECA website
https://eca.gov.ae/parent-friendly-home or call 056 686 6658 for more information.
All applications are evaluated by an independent judging panel of senior officials from across the UAE. Earning the Parent-friendly Label gives valuable public recognition to businesses and offers them learning and development opportunities. Every applicant, no matter the outcome, receives a free, customised evaluation report to encourage continuous learning and improvement.
Source: Emirates News Agency