Senior Partnerships Adviser
New mums and dads will be able to access improved parental leave schemes as employers from various industries recognise the importance of caring provisions in attracting and retaining staff.
Real estate advertisers REA Group recently announced they will provide primary carers with 26 weeks leave at full pay and secondary carers with 12 weeks paid leave; the first six weeks at full pay, and the remainder at half pay. In order to minimise the impact of career breaks on superannuation balances, they will also pay an employee’s super for the entire period of leave, up to 12 months.
REA Group will also make the transition back to work easier for primary carers with reduced hours (75% of agreed work hours) at full pay for the first four weeks after returning from parental leave.
Last month, accounting firm Grant Thornton announced that primary carers would have access to 20 weeks paid parental leave from 1 May this year, followed by 26 weeks leave at full pay from 1 May 2017.
Earlier this year, Freight company Aurizon, launched an innovative new program to encourage men to take on primary care of their child in the first year after birth. The ‘Shared Care’ program, which came into effect on 1 May, can be accessed if one or both parents are Aurizon employees. It encourages male employees to take on primary care of their child for at least 13 weeks during their child’s first 12 months, while their partner returns to full time work. In this scenario the man would receive 50% of his salary while he is undertaking full time care of his child, up to a maximum of 26 weeks.
WGEA data shows that on average primary carers in Australia receive 10.5 weeks of employer-funded parental leave, and secondary carers receive an average of 1.5 weeks.Later this year, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency will release data on the number of employees who leave their job during or after a period of parental leave.
For more information on parental leave in Australia visit the Workplace Gender Equality Agency's Data Explorer.