L’Oréal Australia backs up 14 weeks paid parental leave by launching stay-in-touch program

L’Oréal Australia backs up 14 weeks paid parental leave by launching stay-in-touch program

L’Oréal Australia is already a leading employer when it comes to paid parental leave, currently offering ALL parents — male and female — an impressive 14 weeks paid leave.

They’re up there with Medibank in leading the way which, as I wrote last month, has removed the need to be a primary or secondary carer from the the 14 weeks that it offers news parents.

Having introduced its new paid leave policy late last year, L’Oréal has this week officially launched an innovative new Parent Support & Stay in Touch program to support working parents, in partnership with Circle In.

The program aims to support parents in doing everything from planning parental leave, to staying connected to the workforce and later returning. The portal will house the relevant company information, while also providing a community of peers that staff can access to support, guide and mentor them through becoming a parent.

L’Oréal also has a strong flexible working policy, and on top of its 14 weeks paid leave, offers an additional 20 hours for new parents and parents to be to attend medical and other appointments, along with 10 keeping in touch days for those on leave.

In 2016, L’Oréal Australia also announced that its executive committee was majority female, for the first time.

It’s managing director Rodrigo Pizarro is himself a parent of four children. He says it’s essential that’s he’s running a “smart modern business” and that they are “continually assessing how we can improve our internal practices to retain our valued employees.”

Circle In is a platform launched by Jodi Geddes and Kate Pollard (pictured above) in October 2017, offering an online destination for new parents navigating their careers.

L’Oréal joins Medibank as launch partners on Circle In’s new business offering, which aims to help organisations evolve how they support working parents.

Medibank, along with its 14 weeks paid leave for all parents, also has a majority female board. It was recently named Australia’s best workplace for dads.

The increased emphasis on working dads from employers like L’Oreal and Medibank, is important in helping to ‘normalise’ taking career breaks and working part time and flexibly — as things both men and women do. A number of studies have found that men are reluctant to take parental leave, including recent research from Hays finding that 34% of men believe taking such leave will make them seem less committed to the job, and 12% stating that parental leave is the right and responsibility of the mother.

Indeed, the male carer ‘career trap’ is stalling workplace gender equality, according to recent research from the Diversity Council of Australia in partnership with Suncorp.

They found that 25% of male carers had experienced discrimination in the past year, while almost one in five disagree that they’re able to progress at work. As DCA CEO Lisa Annese said: it’s essential that organisations offer support for flexible working and leave mechanisms for men, like they do for women

“Increasingly organisations are looking for ways to provide flexibility for women, however men with caring responsibilities, who also want to work flexibly, suffer stigma and a lack of respect,” she said. “Men and women face consequences for their career progression.”

Initiatives like this from L’Oreal, along with Medibank’s commitment to support ‘all’ parents, will go a long way to help — especially if they can inspire other employers to follow.

Pic above: Supplied by L’Oreal, taken on their recent family day. 

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