Many of us are currently balancing work, parenting, and remote schooling due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Even Mother’s Day looked a little different this year!

For many families, there’s a lot to juggle, so it’s more important than ever that we lean on our support networks. Some are even going the extra mile, creating new networks to offer support and assistance to others during this time.

Over the last few weeks, AGL Supplier Relationship Manager Wan Ling Ng, Change Analyst Aneta Pearson, and Delivery Lead Nat Saunders have been busy growing our AGL Parents Network – a safe and supportive online space for our parents and carers (who make up more than 50% of our workforce).

Helping our kids learn how to code

Our children have also been affected by COVID-19 – while some are headed back to school, others are still spending more time at home and away from their friends.

That’s why we were excited to bring back our popular Code Camp initiative during the Easter holidays. The program introduces children to the basics of coding in a fun and interactive way, providing an hour’s activity for the kids – and perhaps an hour’s respite for parents!

More than 400 of our people registered their children to participate in the online initiative, and we have now partnered with Code Camp to provide ongoing sessions throughout Term 2.

Jason Strange, Business Transformation Project Manager at Bayswater, said his daughter Leah is interested in science and technology, and Code Camp has been a great introduction to computing for her.

’What I loved most is that you can build your own games and create your own characters. The instructions are really detailed which helps me to complete the activities,’ Leah said.

Wei Wei Ma, Head of Wholesale Markets Risk, agreed the Code Camp sessions have been great, particularly during these challenging times.

’Working from home with kids needing your help with school at the same time has been really challenging,’ said Wei Wei.

’My nine-year-old son Ethan also feels anxious at times with the lack of social interaction with his friends. Code Camp has been a great activity for him to keep his mind on something new and interesting.’

Fast Facts: What other ways do we support working families at AGL?

Families at AGL: An extensive interactive information hub focussing on family, career and wellbeing - which includes live and pre-recorded webinars, podcasts, toolkits, checklists and face to face sessions to support our people with family and caring responsibilities.

Parental leave: AGL offers highly competitive parental leave to our working families, including paid parental leave for primary carers (20 weeks) and their partner (two weeks). Our policy was also updated recently to include fostering, surrogacy, and adoption.

Flexibility: Flexible working is ingrained in our culture at AGL. Everyone’s circumstances are different, which is why our flexible working arrangements are tailored to suit a variety of needs. This could be part-time work, compressed working hours, shifted start and finish times, jobsharing, and – as many of us have experienced in the past couple of months – working from home and telecommuting.