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Corporate kids on the move

31 Jan 2019

Corporate kids on the move Image

By Rhonda Dredge

Parents are happily bringing their children to corporate offices at the ANZ, NAB and Latitude during school holidays, making the financial sector in Docklands a popular place to work.

It’s 4.20 pm on a Thursday and Vanessa and Charlie Sayers are knocking off after a long day at Latitude.

Vanessa has put in a full shift as a change manager while Charlie has made a tool kit.

“This is the first employer I’ve had who let me bring Charlie to work,” Ms Sayers said. Mum and daughter have spent four days together at work and they’re a bit emotional about the experience.

Nearby at the NAB corporate centre, dads and their kids have been seen slipping out to the library at lunch time, all wearing their blue security passes.

Other parents are using their working-from-home days to bring their children down to Docklands to play in the library while they work on their laptops.

Working families are forced to be flexible, said the children’s librarian, who is keen to promote the kid-friendly face of Docklands.

“You have to be able to survive.”

The library provides books, toys and computers for kids and they can make friends with others in Buluk Park at the front. Even the librarian has brought in his partner’s kid during January.

Some 50,000 people are employed in Docklands, mostly in the corporate sector, and children are a common sight at knock-off times.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics some 64 per cent of couples with children have both parents working and 25 per cent work full-time.

“It’s fabulous,” said Ms Sayers of her company’s policy. “I believe this is the first time they’ve offered a holiday program.”

Ms Sayers said she came back to work a week early because of the program. “They’ve got 40 kids in the training space. They’re building robots and today they made a toolbox.”

In the past parents who faced the clash between school holidays and the need to keep working, left children with grandparents or booked them into school holiday programs.

“For us it meant that one parent had to stay home,” Ms Sayers said. “Charlie’s an only child and with this type of program she can mix with her peers.”

Docklands is a relaxed place to work, employees say, and companies are encouraging, with some subsidising child care. Parents pay just $25 a day for the two-week holiday program at Latitude.

“It’s lovely to have these two weeks together,” mother and daughter agreed.

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