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Family-Friendly Policies: An Apparatus for Business Resilience and Continuity
29 October 2020 | 10-11:30 AM IST
Children are the future of every country and an integral part of the economy; they are rights holders and are the future income of the country and businesses. Decades of research provides unequivocal evidence of the linkage between childcare, business growth and overall economic growth. The importance of childcare to improve returns and make business resilient needs to be promoted across business value chains. Efficient childcare is linked to enhanced productivity and revenue. Successful companies thereby make labour productivity improvement a core business strategy to drive profitability and make themselves resilient to deal with unpredictable shocks. Yet, productivity enhancement mechanisms do not always consider health & well-being as critical to improving productivity and managing risks.
Over the last few months, COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of health & well-being for achieving business continuity and resilience, and succession of economic activities. COVID-19 has made it clear that without good health and well-being, it is not possible to resume any commercial activity; thereby establishing a direct correlation of good health (not just of the self, but also of the families), with good economic performance. COVID-19 has brought in the sense of urgency to address the current and uncertain challenges for business and economic continuity. Companies thus, need to develop new capabilities to tackle risks and uncertainty and integrate a new instrument in their risk management toolkit.
UNICEF has been working with partners on family-friendly policies (FFPs) and offers a framework that can enable companies to deal with uncertainty by improving labour productivity and ensuring the continuity of business operations. Although the FFP framework focuses on childcare, however, each dimension of the framework translates into enhancing health & safety compliance and morals of workers, making the workplace agile to change and innovate. By investing in FFPs before a crisis hits, businesses can build resilience by establishing structures that can be adapted to changing contexts and cushion unexpected business disruptions. To build back better, businesses ought to prioritize workers’ health & well-being as one of the key business continuity strategies. FFPs, such as paid leave for childcare, flexible working arrangements, access to quality childcare infrastructure, are critical to giving business continuity strategy the best chance of success.
- Initiate a discourse around the importance of implementing FFPs or work-life policies across the Apparel and textile value chain
- A deep dive into FFP’s and the need for it to make business sustainable.
- Understand private sector experience in the implementation of family-friendly or work-life policies; Challenges and successes.
- Focusing on best practices on FFPs or work-life policies in the Apparel & Textile industry and examine their contribution to making businesses resilient.
- Explore legislative frameworks, policies, government interventions and role & responsibilities of key stakeholders in creating an enabling environment to implement FFPs.
Dr. Chemba Raghavan
Chief/Officer in Charge, Early Childhood Development
Senior Director, Corporate Responsibility & Offshore Sustainability
Head of Compliance, CSR and Plan A India and Sri Lanka Region
Marks and Spencer
General Manager (Finance & Administration)
Richa Global Exports Pvt. Ltd
CCR CSR HongKong