The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has been named as one of the top 5 best places to work in Australia’s financial services sector in a prestigious national ranking.
AFCA, the national financial ombudsman service, was among the leaders in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services sector in the 2023 AFR BOSS Best Places to Work rankings, announced last night.
“We are incredibly proud to be recognised in this way,” Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer David Locke said. “Our ‘People for Purpose’ culture is fundamental to how we operate, to the services we provide and to the experience everyone has with AFCA – including how our people feel when they come to work every day.
“Our people are the driving force behind the services we deliver to the Australian community as the national financial services ombudsman,” Mr Locke said. “We want our people to flourish so they are best able to do this important and impactful work.”
AFCA provides free, fair and independent help with financial disputes for consumers and small businesses and their financial firms, in areas such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments and superannuation. It employs about 900 people. AFCA’s external dispute resolution scheme is on track to register about 100,000 complaints this financial year, and has secured $1 billion for complainants since inception in November 2018.
In recent initiatives, AFCA revised its leave policy to allow its people to spread parental leave over two years, also removing from the policy traditional references to ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ caregivers. Enhanced benefits under the revised policy also include eight weeks of paid gender affirmation leave.
AFCA’s commitment to flexibility, through a range of measures, was underlined late last year when its six-monthly staff survey found that 90 per cent of people felt they had the flexibility they needed to meet both work and personal needs – a result 11 per cent above the financial industry benchmark.
“At AFCA we support our people to balance their work and personal commitments and to focus on their health and wellbeing,” Mr Locke said. “It’s also important to us that people feel they truly ‘belong’ at AFCA – that they can bring their whole selves to work. We want to not just respect but also celebrate the diversity of our people and the people we serve.”
The Best Places to Work list recognises and ranks the best places to work in Australia and New Zealand, by industry. In 2023 the list included rankings in ten sectors, compiled from over 700 nominations.
The list is based on an assessment process managed by a leading behavioural science consultancy, Inventium. The methodology is underpinned by Inventium's Workplaces of the Future framework, which identifies 10 key factors that are critical to employees feeling motivated and engaged at work.
The assessment included a staff survey and a written submission addressing questions relating to policies, practices and programs aimed at supporting and drawing the best from employees.
The founder of Inventium, Dr Amantha Imber, said the consultancy had analysed data from tens of thousands of employees in seeking out the best places to work. “These are workplaces that offer employees ultra-flexibility, that place wellbeing at the heart of the employee experience, and that ensure people feel a sense of belonging, no matter what their background is.”
BOSS Magazine Editor Sally Patten added: “It’s great to see so many companies recognising that their employees are more than simply the tasks they perform. These employers are helping staff to fulfil their multiple roles, as parents, carers and partners, who want to grow and learn, and stay healthy."
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