Australian property development company Stockland has launched a new parental leave policy that will offer up to 24 months’ leave that can be taken flexibly.
It will increase its paid parental leave to a total of twenty weeks.
The Sydney-based company, which employs over 1500 people, has also removed the distinction between the primary and secondary carer.
Over the past four years, the company has reported a 64 percent increase in the number of men taking parental leave and wants to promote a more flexible approach to parental leave.
Tarun Gupta, Managing Director and CEO said the new policy recognises that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to being a parent.
“Offering a truly flexible approach to parental leave is about delivering on our ongoing commitment to gender equity and work-life integration,” Gupta said.
“The policy acknowledges the important role parents play in Australian society. By removing the carer distinction, our people can structure their parental leave with the freedom to decide how to use the time and how to support the ongoing care of a young child with the eventual return to work.”
In addition to the new flexibility policies, Stockland will give their staff 20 weeks’ of paid parental leave regardless of gender and payment of superannuation on both paid and unpaid parental leave amongst other benefits.
“With 90 percent of our team working flexibly, we knew it was important to apply the same flexibility principles to our parental leave arrangements,” Gupta added.
Karen Lonergan, Group Executive, People & Culture at Stockland, said under the new policy, staff can take unpaid leave, annual leave and half pay parental leave for up to 40 weeks to cover the first two years of a child’s life.
“In addition we have removed the 12 month service requirement,” she added.
“Our team has up to 24 months to take their leave and it can be taken in a single block, in multiple blocks or by taking just one or two days per week in a part time capacity (to the total of 20 weeks) ensuring our people can transition back to work in a more family-friendly way.”
“We recognise the need to provide particular support for our people in the tragic event of pregnancy loss or stillbirth where the same leave entitlements will apply.”
“Recognising that the transition back into work after a period of leave can feel a bit daunting for new parents, we focus on maintaining connection and engagement with the business.”
Lonergan hopes the new policies will encourage new parents to come into the office “with their babies to catch up with colleagues.”
The company said it hosts forums for new parents to receive updates and spend time with members of our Senior Leadership Team to keep up to date on business strategy and priorities.
“Employees and candidates are looking closely at the benefits different organisations offer and, post-COVID, how organisations navigate the future of work transition and approach to flexibility is a game changer in the war for talent,” Lonergan said.
“Increasingly prospective employees are prioritising companies that support gender equity, and work- life integration.”