Extended leave policy targets greater equity for parents
Resource management company SUEZ has announced the extension of its Parental Leave Policy, including the provision of additional paid parental and partner leave.
The new policy provides for 14 weeks paid parental leave to the primary carer immediately post-birth or following the adoption of a child under the age of five, and a lump sum payment of two weeks' salary or return to work. Four weeks paid leave will also be made available to partners (secondary carers) for use within the first 24 months.
At the conclusion of paid leave, primary carers will additionally be entitled to unpaid leave for 38 weeks, during which time they will continue to receive full superannuation entitlements.
The new policy came into effect on 1 July 2019. It will also apply retrospectively to any employee who commenced paid Parental/Partner Leave from 1 January 2019.
Previously, the company’s 2,800 employees across Australia had access to six weeks paid maternity leave and paternity leave of one week in addition to extensive unpaid leave.
SUEZ Australia & New Zealand Human Resources Director, Kim Hall said that employees have welcomed the new policy.
Supporting our employees as they grow their families is a fundamental component of our commitment to gender equity, and this means widening our policy to be more inclusive of a myriad of different family and caring situations,
“By shifting the focus from simply maternity leave to supporting primary carers and their partners, we will better reflect the diversity found in our workforce and ensure equitable access to financial, flexibility and career continuation benefits, regardless of which parent or carer assumes the primary care role,” she added.
The enhanced entitlements bring the company’s offering for primary and secondary carers into line with other major employers of choice, including Medibank Private, SEEK and Commonwealth Bank. Ms Hall that the revised policy builds upon SUEZ’s recently launched flexible work practices initiative, and its commitment to providing equal opportunities and remuneration regardless of gender.
have come a long way in Australia when it comes to gender equality in
the workplace, but there is still a substantial gap,” she said.
we’re really aiming for at SUEZ is a situation where everyone can
access the same rewards, resources and opportunities. It’s not only what
is fair and right; it also makes a significant positive impact on our
overall economic performance and ability to attract and retain
The extended benefits will not affect employee access to the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme.