Employer Spotlight: Diageo

At Diageo, from 1 July 2019 all Australian employees will be eligible to take 26 weeks paid family leave regardless of gender, carer status or length of service.

Diageo has taken its ambition to create one of Australia’s leading workforces on gender equality, diversity and inclusion one big step further with this latest policy.

A first time recipient, Diageo was announced in February as one of 141 workplaces named as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (‘WGEA’) for 2019.

David Smith, Managing Director at Diageo Australia said, “This is a huge step forward in supporting our people and fostering greater inclusion and diversity for every Diageo Australia employee.

“We’re moving the conversation on from ‘women having children’ to ‘people raising families’.

“This is about removing barriers to career progression and ensuring talent is retained and nurtured. If these sorts of policies are more widely adopted in society, it can be a real game changer for shared responsibilities, getting women who want to, back into work earlier and giving men more time to enjoy the experience of being a new parent.”

The new parental leave policy will complement its recently launched flexible work philosophy that prioritises its people’s need for balance, well-being, opportunity and fulfilment.

WGEA’s 2017-18 data shows that access to paid parental leave has stalled for carers of both genders in Australia.

Over half of employers do not provide paid primary carer’s leave in addition to the government scheme. In 2013-14, 48.5% of employers offered primary carers leave. In 2017-18 this figure dropped by 0.7 percentage points to 47.8%.

Secondary carer’s leave only saw a slight improvement, a 3.0 percentage point increase from 38.8% of employers in 2013-14 to 41.8% in 2017-18.

Libby Lyons, Director at WGEA said, “We need to change this and give proper choice to both female and male employees in Australian workplaces.

“Access to parental leave helps women to stay in the workforce and progress their careers and helps men to be more involved in their family life and in raising their children. I congratulate Diageo for implementing their new parental leave scheme and I hope it encourages other Australian employers to follow suit.”

This announcement is part of a global roll-out of an ambitious new family leave policy announced overnight by Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes. Diageo hopes the policy will support employees to focus on the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work, and ensuring all employees are supported to have time with their new child regardless of where they live and work.