The HPE announcement, under the banner of an initiative called ‘Work That Fits Your Life’, is impressive for a number of reasons — the first being the number of weeks of paid leave on offer to both new mums and dads, twenty six.
It’s a significant increase for HPE, upping what was previously offered to mothers by 13 weeks, and to fathers by a huge 24 weeks. It’s also higher than what’s typically being offered from firms that have already made a move on offering paid leave regardless of parenting status, with most hovering somewhere between 12 and 18 weeks.
Following the leave, HPE’s ‘parental transition support’ aspect of the initiative then enables new parents to work part time for up to 36 months after the birth or adoption of a child. This acknowledges a key and challenging period for new parents as they adjust to the childcare system and new caring arrangements.
But the package is also impressive in that it aims to move beyond supporting parents alone, a smart approach for employers looking to enhance their paid parental leave policies while also offering something to all staff in the process.
HPE will offer extended opportunities for those approaching retirement age to work part time, while also enabling them to better mentor colleagues and pass on transferrable skills.
Meanwhile, their new ‘Wellness Fridays’, gives all employees the opportunity to leave work one Friday a month three hours early to either volunteer, spend time on personal or career development or focus on their physical or emotional health. It’s not a huge shift, but it’s something that ensures everyone benefits from their new lifestyle package.
Stephen Bovis, Vice President and Managing Director, HPE South Pacific said in a statement the package aims to help all employees reach their full potential.
All new parents who have worked with HPE for at least one year will be able to access the 26 weeks of paid leave on offer, within the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of a child.
Recently, Baker McKenzie became the first major law firm in Australia to offer paid parental leave equality, 18 weeks to both mums and dads regardless of their ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ carer status. It followed similar moves from ING Bank Australia, as well as Medibank Private.