3.7 How do I meet GEI 4?

GEI 4

GEI 4 relates to the availability and utility of employment terms, conditions and practices, specifically relating to flexible working arrangements and working arrangements that support employees with family or caring responsibilities.

 

 

Q5: Offer paid parental leave to primary carers

Question 5 asks if and how you provide employer-funded paid parental leave for primary carers regardless of their gender. A primary carer is the member of a couple or a single carer that bears greater responsibility for daily childcare.

You have four options to answer this question:

  • Yes, women and men equally.
  • No, we only offer paid parental leave for female primary carers.
  • No, we only offer paid parental leave for male primary carers.
  • No.

If you do not offer paid parental leave for primary carers, you can tell us if that is because:

  • it is under development
  • you have insufficient resources or expertise
  • the government scheme is enough
  • it is not a priority
  • of another reason.

Through the government’s paid parental leave scheme, eligible employees receive up to 18 weeks’ pay at the national minimum wage. An employer can offer this to its staff, but this is not employer-funded leave. 

Instead, many employers set their own paid parental leave policy, which allows employees to take time away from work for the birth or adoption of a child. The amount of employer-funded paid parental leave varies, but such a policy can help attract and keep talented staff. This leave is in addition to an employee’s other leave and can be offered through:

  • an award
  • an employment contract
  • an enterprise agreement
  • a workplace policy. 

If you offer employer-funded paid parental leave to primary carers, you must report the minimum number of weeks you provide and the percentage of your workforce that can take it. If you offer different leave packages to certain groups of employees or based on service time, industry or worksite, your minimum would be across all options. If you enter a high number of weeks (more than 52), we will contact you to confirm your data.

Below are some examples of how you can report this.

Example 1

  • Primary carers’ leave offered to: Women and men
  • Weeks of paid parental leave: 18
  • Type of payment: The gap between the government’s paid parental leave scheme and their full salary
  • Answer for question 5: Yes – by paying the gap between the employee’s salary and the government’s scheme
  • Answer for question 5.1: 18 

Example 2

  • Primary carers’ leave offered to: Women and men
  • Weeks of paid parental leave: 6
  • Type of payment: A lump sum of 3 weeks before their leave and the rest when they return to work
  • Answer for question 5: Yes – as a lump sum payment (paid pre or post parental leave, or a combination)
  • Answer for question 5.1: 6

To answer questions 5.2, 5.2.1 or 5.2.2, you need to calculate the percentage of your workforce that can take your paid parental leave for primary carers. Include casual workers in your calculation. You can select your answer from these 10 ranges:

<10%

11–20%

21–30%

31–40%

41–50%

51–60%

61–70%

71–80%

81–90%

91–100%

If, for example, all employees, including casuals, can access your paid parental leave for primary carers, you would enter 91–100%. But if casuals cannot access this leave, your figure would be less. If only women or only men can access it, your answer should be the percentage of either group in your workplace. The table below shows some examples.

Example 1

  • Total employees: 100
  • Number with access: 80
  • Number without access: 20
  • Percentage of workforce with access: 80/100 = 80%
  • Answer: 71–80%

Example 2

  • Total employees: 130
  • Number with access: 20
  • Number without access: 110
  • Percentage of workforce with access: 20/130 = 15.4%
  • Answer: 11–20%

Q6: Offer paid parental leave to secondary carers

Question 6 asks if and how you provide employer-funded paid parental leave for secondary carers regardless of gender. A secondary carer is the member of the couple or a single carer who is not the primary carer of the child. 

You have four options to answer this question:

  • Yes, women and men equally.
  • No, we only offer paid parental leave for male secondary carers.
  • No, we only offer paid parental leave for female secondary carers.
  • No.

If you do not offer paid parental leave for secondary carers, you can tell us if that is because:

  • it is under development
  • you have insufficient resources or expertise
  • the government scheme is enough
  • it is not a priority
  • of another reason.

If you offer employer-funded paid parental leave, you must tell us the:

  • minimum number of days you provide in questions 6.1, 6.1.1 or 6.1.2, depending on who you offer it to
  • percentage of the workforce that can access that leave in questions 6.2, 6.2.1 or 6.2.2.

If you offer different leave packages to certain groups of employees or based on service time, industry, worksite or, your minimum would be across all options. If you enter a high number of days (more than 180), we will contact you to confirm your data.

To answer questions 6.2, 6.2.1 or 6.2.2, you need to calculate the percentage of your workforce that can take your paid parental leave for secondary carers. You must include casual workers in your calculation but ignore the eligibility period for access. You can select your answer from the percentage ranges shown in the previous section. Also see the table there for an example of how to calculate this percentage. 

You can provide more information about your paid parental leave for secondary carers in question 6.1a, like eligibility period or other arrangements, but this is optional. 

Q7–8: Report on employees who have taken parental leave

Questions 7 and 7.1 ask for the number of managers and non-managers by gender who have taken paid or unpaid parental leave, including any government-funded parental leave, during the reporting period. This includes both primary and secondary carer’s leave. 

Include employees still on parental leave in your count, regardless of when their leave began. Report your totals by actual headcount, not the full-time equivalent. Answer these questions even if you do not provide employer-funded paid parental leave, and do not leave any cells blank. Enter zero for cells where you do not have data.

Questions 8 and 8.1 ask for the number of managers and non-managers by gender whose employment ended before they returned to work from parental leave. Ceased employment includes resignations, redundancies and dismissals.

When you count this:

  • include employees on parental leave that began in another reporting period, even if the single block of parental leave includes other types of leave, like annual or unpaid
  • do not include employees who stopped working after they returned from parental leave, even if they returned for just one day
  • do not include full-equity partners in professional services organisations that operate as a partnership.

Based on the number of employees you entered into the table:

  • our system will generate the proportions 
  • we will include them in your public and confidential reports.

Q9, 14: Develop a formal flexible work policy and/or strategy that’s equal for women and men

Flexible work includes changing:

  • work hours, like working fewer hours or moving start or finish times
  • work patterns, like working split shifts or job sharing
  • workplaces, like working from home.

Your formal policy can document your processes and procedures for:

  • requesting flexible working arrangements
  • receiving a request
  • considering a request
  • agreeing to a request
  • refusing a request. 

Your formal strategy can document how you plan to integrate and implement a flexible work policy. 

Question 9 asks if you have a formal policy or strategy on flexible working arrangements. If you only provide informal flexible working arrangements, answer no and give details. If you answer yes, you:

  • will have a standalone flexible work policy or strategy, or include this item in another policy or strategy, such as your gender equality strategy
  • can list policy or strategy initiatives in question 9.1.

Initiatives include:

  • promoting flexible work throughout your organisation
  • setting targets for flexible work engagement
  • establishing and endorsing a business case for flexibility at the leadership level
  • holding leaders accountable for improving workplace flexibility
  • showcasing leaders as role models of flexible working
  • training managers and employees on flexible working 
  • offering team-based training 
  • surveying employees about flexibility
  • studying the impact of flexibility, such as reduced absenteeism and increased employee engagement
  • reporting on the use and impact of flexibility to key management and the governing body.

Related to question 9, question 14 then asks if you offer flexible work options to both genders the same way (formally or informally) not if anyone has used them during the reporting period. You have two options to answer this question:

  • yes, the options in place are available to both women and men
  • no, some or all options are not available to both women and men.

For example, if you offer time-in-lieu formally to women but informally to men, you would answer no. But if you offer some or all of the employment terms, conditions or practices formally for both genders, select yes. The table you must complete does not require you to specify gender.

Most employers offer at least carer’s leave, as this is a legal requirement under Fair Work Australia.

If you answer yes to question 14, question 14.1 will then ask you which items from the list below you offer your employees, by manager and non-manager categories. If you do not offer an option, do not tick the box. 

Type of flexible work

Details

Flexible hours

Varied start and finish times.

Compressed working weeks

Managers let employees work the same number of weekly, fortnightly or monthly hours but over a shorter period. For example, they can work a 40-hour week in four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days.

Salary changes are not required.

Time-in-lieu

Overtime is compensated with time-in-lieu. No payment is involved.

Telecommuting

Working outside the official workplace.

Part-time work

Working less than full-time and being paid on a pro-rata basis.

Job sharing

Two employees sharing the tasks of a full-time role and being paid for their work on a pro-rata basis.

Carer’s leave

Taking leave for:

  • caring responsibilities
  • family emergencies
  • a close family member’s death or serious illness.

Purchased leave

Managers let employees take leave without pay (beyond their annual leave allocation). Employers typically deduct the pay for the leave period from the employee’s annual salary and then average the remainder over the number of pay periods for the year.

For example, an employee who earns $52,000 per year and purchases four extra weeks of leave would receive an adjusted salary of $48,000 per year.

Unpaid leave

Taking leave without pay

If you do not offer your employees any of these options, you can specify if:

  • it is under development
  • you have insufficient resources or expertise
  • it is not a priority
  • there is another reason.

If you answer no to question 14, bypass question 14.1 and go to 14.2, which will ask you which items from the list you offer to only female or male employees. As in 14.1, if you do not offer an option, do not tick the box. 

You can provide more information about GEI 4 under question 14.4, but this is optional.

Q10–11: Support employees with caring responsibilities

Question 10 relates to the employee’s role as the parent (biological, step, adoptive or foster), guardian or carer of:

  • a child 
  • a parent
  • a spouse or domestic partner 
  • a close relative
  • anyone dependent on them for care. 

A parent can be a biological, step-, adoptive or foster parent, or a guardian.

It asks if you have a formal policy or strategy to support employees with family or caring responsibilities. If you: 

  • have a standalone policy or strategy to support employees with these duties, or include this item in another policy or strategy, answer yes
  • only provide informal arrangements to support employees with family and caring responsibilities, answer no and give details in the free-text box.

Question 11 then asks if you offer any supports besides leave for employees with family or caring responsibilities. If so, you can choose from a list of these that are in place at one or all of your worksites in question 11.1. If you only have one worksite, such as a head office, select ‘available at all worksites’.

Supports include:

  • referral services to support employees with family and caring responsibilities
  • information packs to support new parents and those with elder care responsibilities
  • targeted communications, like intranet forums
  • employer-subsidised or on-site childcare
  • childcare referral services
  • help securing school holiday care
  • internal support networks for parents
  • breastfeeding facilities
  • parenting workshops targeting mothers and fathers
  • coaching for employees on returning to work from parental leave
  • return-to-work bonuses (this is not the balance of parental leave paid when an employee returns).

You can also give us details on supports you provide that are not listed here. But if you answered yes to question 11 and do not offer any of the supports above, you must list what you offer besides leave.

Q12–13: Support employees experiencing family or domestic violence

Family and domestic violence involves violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour from a partner, carer or family member to control, dominate or instil fear. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual or another type of abuse.

Question 12 asks if you have a policy or strategy to support employees experiencing this kind of violence. If you answer yes, you will have a standalone policy or strategy, or include this item in another policy or strategy.

An example of such a strategy is an organisation creating a Safe Family Support Leave initiative to support employees experiencing family or domestic violence. The initiative allows these employees to speak with support agencies during their normal working hours without losing pay.

Question 13 then asks if you offer any supports for employees dealing with family or domestic violence. If so, you can choose from a list of these supports, which include:

  • an employee assistance program, including access to medical services, a psychologist, a chaplain or a counselor
  • employee referral to domestic violence support services for expert advice
  • flexible working arrangements, change of office location or help with emergency accommodation 
  • leave, including paid or unpaid domestic violence leave that could be included in an enterprise or workplace agreement
  • a domestic violence clause in such an agreement
  • confidentiality of any disclosure and protection from any negative action or discrimination based on it 
  • key personnel training and workplace safety planning
  • financial support, such as advanced bonus or pay.

You can also give us details on supports you provide that are not listed here. 

If you answered no, you can choose from different options.

For more information on supporting employees who are experiencing family or domestic violence, visit the Fair Work Ombusman’s resources and White Ribbon Foundation.