Suncorp flexible workforce boosts natural disaster response



Suncorp flexible workforce boosts natural disaster response

Suncorp’s move to adopt a flexible part-time claims workforce has created new employment opportunities for Queenslanders and reduced call centre wait times for customers lodging claims following the March East Coast floods.

Suncorp Head of Disaster Response Cath Stewart said the addition of 220 new jobs ahead of the 2020-21 natural disaster season has given Suncorp the ability to scale up our workforce while creating new types of employment options. 

“Creating a dedicated, flexible event response workforce allows us to respond quickly to customers affected by significant weather events without disrupting our day-to-day operations and delivers benefits for our people with new flexible working options,” Ms Stewart said.

The boost in jobs forms part of Suncorp’s workforce planning program which aims to create flexible employment opportunities for people in a post-pandemic environment, while meeting business and customer needs. Around 60 per cent of the roles are in Queensland across Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville and Toowoomba. 

Ms Stewart said by activating the flexible part-time workforce ahead of the recent floods in northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland, Suncorp could respond to affected customers lodging claims and needing support.

It's proven to be a smooth ramp up and our people are proud to have the opportunity to step up and be there for our customers when they need us most.

Cath Stewart, Suncorp Head of Disaster Response

“In most cases customers had their call answered within 10 seconds. This is the benefit of having a trained, event-response-ready workforce on standby that knows our system, processes and our customers. 

“It’s proven to be a smooth ramp up and our people are proud to have the opportunity step up and be there for our customers when they need us most,” Ms Stewart said. 

The part-time workforce of claims officers and managers generally work a limited number of hours a week but their hours ramp up to full-time hours when a natural disaster hits. Ms Stewart said employees were attracted to the role’s flexible hours, which fit with their lifestyles, and they felt significant job satisfaction being there to support customers impacted by a natural disaster at their time of need.

Gold Coast-based Tania Goodwin joined Suncorp in November as a flexible part-time claims client manager consultant and member of Suncorp’s dedicated event response team. 

“I have been looking for a job like this for years – a role which allows me the flexibility to be there for my young daughters, while still moving forward with my career, and feeling part of something meaningful. 

“The training and support provided in the lead up to event season was invaluable. It provided me with the right tools and confidence to be there for our customers at a time when they really needed us. Being a flexi part-timer lets me be a mum, but a mum that kicks goals and feels achievement in all parts of life. We’re often told to choose between being a career person or a mum – I wish more companies would take the approach of Suncorp, which values its workers’ experience.”

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