23 January, 2020

How breaking the parental leave taboo grows business

How breaking the parental leave taboo grows business

There's a growing awareness of the commercial value in offering competitive parental leave entitlements for both sexes. 

Businesses that support stable and healthy families are more likely to retain highly skilled employees, which in turn benefits their bottom line.

But there's been a slow uptake in Australian men taking their full parental leave entitlements and companies improving their offerings.

Just 355,000 fathers and other carers have received payments from the government's Dad and Partner Pay Scheme since it was introduced in early 2013.

A Seat at the Table, an initiative advocating for fairer access to paid-parental leave for women and men, says that for every one month leave a man takes in the first year of a child's life, his female partner's lifetime income goes up by 6%.

Founder Amelia Dixon recently noted to the Australian Financial Review"Just as companies report on the gender pay gap, we want them to report on the gap in gender use of paid leave.

"Paid primary carers' leave is on average 10.1 weeks and women use 95% of it. Only 39% of employers in Australia offer paid secondary carers' leave which when available is on average only 7.3 days.

"There are a lot of men in Australia who feel locked out from being significant carers, either because there is no leave available or they feel risk from taking what their employers do offer."

A Queensland Chapter of Women in Drinks event next month will focus on "Parental leave: overcoming stigmas and stereotypes".

The Women in Drinks team will hold an open discussion on the issues surrounding parental leave at their next Queensland event. This is a not-to-be-missed evening for those working at every level of the drinks industry.

Guest speakers will be Parents at Work CEO Emma Walsh and Lion's Inclusion and Diversity leader Jodie Littlewood.

Walsh is the Founder and CEO of Parents At Work – a social enterprise established in 2007 to improve the lives of parents and carers by creating family friendly workplaces. Walsh collaborates with employers, policy makers and industry professionals to improve gender equality outcomes at work and at home by mainstreaming flexibility and parental leave for men and women. Her career has spanned more than 15 years, with specialties including leadership development, and career development and coaching.

Littlewood has spent 14 years in human resources and the last three years as the corporate Inclusion & Diversity Leader at Lion. She is a champion of gender equality in the workplace, and instrumental in delivering many key business strategies including flexibility programs and 50:50 gender targets. As a change leader, Littlewood partners with businesses and teams to engage and empower them through the why, what and how of the Inclusion and Diversity journey. 

Littlewood will interview Walsh, who will discuss the challenges of parental leave and the rewards that come from creating family-friendly workplaces.   

Event details

Time: 5.30-7.30pm

Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Venue: Alehouse – Castlemaine Perkins (XXXX Brewery), Corner Black and Paten Streets, Milton, Queensland

Cost: $35/person, includes canapes & drinks

$5 from each ticket will go to the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG). Tickets are strictly limited. Limited free car parking is available at the venue. There is also metered car parking available in the surrounding streets.

Click here to book