Suncorp celebrates Carers Week
It was Suncorp’s commitment to supporting employees with carer responsibilities that initially drew Zung Dang to Suncorp. As we recognise Carers Week (11–17 October), Zung shares his experience of how he’s been able to balance his role as a carer and also his career with support of Suncorp
Carers Week, and the support Suncorp provides its employees who are carers, are topics close to Zung Dang’s heart.
Zung works both as a full-time carer and Manager in the Suncorp Employee Council – a team that provides advice and support on workplace relations, including collaborative dispute resolution, and that also promotes employee wellbeing and retention.
Zung said he is proud to work for an organisation that recognises the support employees need when caring for a loved one.
“Before joining Suncorp, my partner was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. As his primary carer, I made a commitment that before starting a full-time job, I would continue to provide the absolute best care I could and juggle any work responsibilities,” Zung said.
“If I could sum up in one word that encouraged me to work at Suncorp, it would be flexibility. The options for flexible work arrangements, working from home, the various leave options and the support services available for carers has helped me balance my role as a carer and full-time employee,” Zung said.
Suncorp is committed to promoting a diverse workforce and supportive culture where employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. In Suncorp’s 2020 engagement survey, 18.5% of Suncorp respondents identified as being a carer – all of who have access to a range of internal and external support, including flexible working options and carer’s leave entitlements.
Every day is a blessing. Every day that I can care for my partner will be another day I am able to kick goals and succeed at work. It is also another day that I can make a difference to another employee’s work-life at Suncorp by supporting them through my role on the Employee Council.
Since joining Suncorp more than two years ago, Zung has helped employees resolve workplace-related issues or concerns while also being an active supporter of the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), participating in various diversity and inclusion initiatives. Coming from a family of first-generation Vietnamese refugees, he’s passionate about using his personal experiences to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Suncorp’s recognition and support for carers has enabled Zung to juggle work, his carer responsibilities at home, and attend medical oncologist and palliative care appointments with his partner.
“Knowing that I have the support of my leader to be able to do what I need to do, and faith in me to get my job done when I return to the office, has alleviated the pressure and anxiety I used to always feel when driving to the hospital for chemotherapy or radiation appointments.
“Being open and honest about my carer obligations with my leader made it easier to explain why I suddenly needed to take a day off or discuss flexible working arrangements that wouldn’t adversely impact my team,” said Zung.
Suncorp’s flexibility and acknowledgement of carers has helped Zung to succeed in his role and demonstrate that a carer’s patience, resilience and diverse life experience can be valuable assets at work.
“Being a primary carer has its challenges and having a supportive employer has helped me look after my wellbeing. The responsibilities within a carer’s role can impact anyone’s ability to have a normal life. A carer’s own health and wellbeing can deteriorate as a result of their responsibilities – so it’s important to acknowledge the mental and physical impacts,” Zung said.
“Every day is a blessing. Every day that I can care for my partner will be another day I am able to kick goals and succeed at work. It is also another day that I can make a difference to another employee’s work-life at Suncorp by supporting them through my role on the Employee Council.”
Zung is an advocate for employees who need to juggle carer responsibilities and is passionate about supporting flexible work arrangements in the workplace.
“Anyone who has been a carer for a friend or family member understands that carers come from all walks of life and every caring situation is different,” Zung said.
“Joining Suncorp and working for the Employee Council team has definitely been the right decision and I feel confident that I can personally relate to and support employees in the workplace.”
Suncorp has partnered with Carers NSW in Australia and CareWise in New Zealand to continue to support and develop carer-friendly practices for our people.
Earlier this year, Suncorp achieved Level 1 (Activate) accreditation in the Carers + Employers (AU) program. This means Suncorp is officially recognised as a carer-friendly workplace. We are proud to say that we are the first national employer accredited in Australia.
Suncorp has also signed the CareWise (NZ) commitment. This means Suncorp is one of New Zealand’s dedicated carer-friendly workplaces having made an active commitment to understanding and supporting the carers we employ.
Suncorp’s Employee Resources Group "enAble" is for employees with disability and accessibility requirements, carers and their supporters.