Employers are organising free school holiday programmes for their workers' children in the latest move towards more family-friendly workplaces and flexible working conditions.
It comes as companies offer lump sum payments for parents going on maternity leave, extended parental leave on top of statutory Government leave, and additional leave so parents can stay home with sick children.
As school holidays kick off next week, telecommunications giant Vodafone has offered teenage children of Auckland employees the chance to take part in the company's first school holiday programme.
At the InnoV8 Auckland office between Monday and Thursday next week 14 to 18-year-olds will be taught how to build their own website and will learn about careers in the technology industry.
"We will look to grow the progamme to our other centres next year," said Vodafone spokeswoman Meera Kaushik.
The telco also has a flexible working policy which allowed employees, whose physical presence wasn't necessary for getting their job done, to work where and when suited them, Kaushik said.
"That includes parents having the freedom to work from home if and when childcare issues arise, which they invariably do from time to time, without taking annual leave."
At NZME, owner of the Weekend Herald and radio stations including ZM, Hauraki and Flava, a holiday programme is being offered for the first time, with children 8-12 invited to record in a radio studio, learn about creative roles, watch movies and play games.
The trial programme is taking place one day each week.
The idea came from a discussion at the company's diversity committee, said recruitment and employer brand adviser Aakansha Chaudhary.
"It's good to have that support for the parents in the workplace."
Employees' kids are also being catered for at Kaitaia non-profit Far North Safer Community Council.
The council's Youth Innovations manager Nancy Wiperi said children of staff could attend the council's holiday programme for free. Ordinarily the programme cost $430 per child each week.
"It allows them to do their mahi without the extra stress of being a parent [trying to find holiday care]."
Six children of five employees were taking part in the programme, which focuses on arts, challenges, sharing and caring and one big outing each holidays — this time to Te Paki Sand Dunes.
The moves have the backing of business and equality advocates, with National Council of Women of New Zealand chief executive Gill Greer saying employers had "everything to gain" from doing what they could to support all working parents.
That could be by hosting a free holiday programme or offering flexibility for parents juggling parenthood and work.
"I think when people feel valued and can have some flexibility, whatever their gender, everybody wins."
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said many workplaces offered flexible working hours for parents.
"The consequence of not doing it means you lose productivity, and you lose good people."
Working parents were also given a boost when a Government bill increasing paid parental leave to 22 weeks kicked in on July 1 this year, with a further increase to 26 weeks from July 2020.
My Food Bag - co-founded by working mums Nadia Lim and Cecilia Robinson - offers an extra 18 weeks paid leave for new mums.
If staff choose to work through the extra 18 weeks the company boosts their salary at that time, paying them an extra 60 per cent.