Top Paid Parental Leave Policies in Australian Companies


Australian employees of liquor maker Diageo will get a new benefit worth $6,500 after a new policy was introduced in September.

The company will pay a retirement pension while its staff take paid parental leave, with the new benefit adding an additional $64,889 to a retirement pot over their working lives if they have two children.

One of the leading companies in paid parenting space, it offers 26 weeks of leave on which it already pays pensions, while the new policy will add an average additional $6,500 to staff pension funds.

For an employee who has a child under the new policy, it will earn them an additional $34,705 in retirement, according to Diageo’s analysis.

It comes as women are hit hard by a gender pension gap, which has resulted in women over 55 becoming the main age group for homelessness.

A KPMG report last year found that in the years approaching retirement age, the gender pension gap can be between 22% and 35%.

It showed that the average pension balance for men aged 60 to 64 is $204,107, while for women of the same age it is $146,900, a gap of 28%.

More than a million Australian mums have lost more than $1.6 billion in superannuation over the past decade through the government’s paid parenting scheme alone.

Alana Lucci is one of the Diageo employees expected to be among the first to benefit from the new policy as she is nearly seven months pregnant.

The brand manager had her son, now three, and took a year off under the company’s previous parental leave policy, which was 12 weeks paid at full pay, but the retirement pension was not included during the 12 months.

“My husband has his own business which is quite slow so we were basically living off my parental leave the first time – it was a bit stressful having to compromise while we were away,” she told .to.

“This time I feel much better and that financially for next year we will be in a better position but also for our future.

“It reassures you and relieves you a bit that we will not have any additional financial stress. There is no hesitation in taking a full 12 months this time.

Sydney’s mother had increased her pension contributions by up to 13% in recent years to catch up, but said the policy was also important for another reason.

“My son is actually autistic so I’m constantly thinking about our future because we don’t know what his future will be like,” she added.

The 30-year-old said she was proud to work for a company that put gender equality at the forefront of its policies and wanted to see more Australian businesses take action.

“I talk to people around me and the companies they work at don’t even offer paid parental leave and I can just see the level of stress when it comes to talking about them having kids,” a- she declared.

“I don’t think your job should determine whether you have children. They should support family life and try to make it as easy as possible.

Ashleigh Sladden, head of digital marketing at Diageo, is another employee who thinks the policy is “incredible”.

She is currently six months pregnant with her first child and said she would not be able to take her planned 10 months off without the scheme.

“It really gives me confidence to take time off with my career. I have been a super career driven woman and a breadwinner in my family and that future protects me, my family and my overall financial situation as it comes into my later years,” he said. she stated.

“I don’t feel like I’m missing out on wanting to have two kids. This is my first child and I feel confident about my career and my stability and how I can contribute to my family.

The 33-year-old said it was a huge relief to know that her retirement pension would be paid and that she would not face any ‘retirement setbacks’.

She said the new policy caused her friends to ask her for jobs at Diageo.

“In my personal experience, I have so many girlfriends at a similar stage in life who can only take very short periods of time off and it’s a financial decision. Having to make that decision between wanting to be a successful working woman and this desire to be a mum and take care of the children and the family – what a battle it is to have to think about how I should choose one over the other”, she said.

“I feel bad for girlfriends who have to take three to four months off and then go straight back to work. As a family unit, we could not thrive without family leave and without this superannuation as protection later in life. »

With a baby boom in the Diageo offices, Gem Roberson, who has been with the company for 11 years and is currently responsible for customer marketing, is also pregnant with her second child.

The 37-year-old said she was worried about her finances when she had her first child, now aged five, but the new policy has given her “peace of mind”. She also wants to see more companies do better in the space.

“I think the government is moving in the right direction, but I think more businesses need to embrace it and look to make it a better future for female and male employers,” she said.

“I have a sister on maternity leave and she works for a government organization and she is impressed with my company because many companies don’t even offer anything outside of the government leave you can get.”

Diageo Australia chief executive Angus McPherson said its employees are already entitled to 26 weeks of paid family leave, regardless of the employee’s tenure or whether they are the primary or secondary carer.

But the drinks company wanted to close the super gender gap and offered to provide 12 full months of pension payments to people on family leave in September, he added.

“The pension gender pay gap continues to be a huge problem, with women still retiring with less pensions than men. Policies like ours play a small but essential role in closing this gap. “, did he declare.

“We are very pleased to take a leading position in the industry by offering our Diageo Australia employees 12 full months of superannuation payments while on family leave.

“We know that the pension gap between men and women remains large and that women often retire with far less savings than men.”

“Another important step we are taking is to support all employees, regardless of gender, to take extended periods of family leave.

“At Diageo, we have a very good track record of fathers taking up to a year off to spend time with their families. In fact, every new parent in our company over the past few years has taken family leave.”

Diageo joins a number of Australian companies offering more generous paid parental leave policies of late.

Among major accounting firms, KPMG and PwC provide 26 weeks of paid parental leave to all parents, regardless of gender, plus continuous pension payments for up to 12 months.

Law firms Clayton Utz and Allens also offer the same benefits to their staff.

Meanwhile, companies like Spotify and law firms King & Wood Mallesons and Ashurst are also offering 26 weeks of paid parental leave.


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