Latest employer to pay superannuation during parental leave could spark industry trend

Latest employer to pay superannuation during parental leave could spark industry trend

Women retire with half the superannuation balances of men due to the accumulation of a number of different penalties that occur throughout their career, particularly if they have children.

One such penalty comes with taking parental leave, whether it’s paid or not it’s still rare for organisations to pay superannuation during this period. The Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme also doesn’t pay superannuation during this period.

So it’s great to see another major employer aiming to do their bit to help close the gap. This time it’s Fairfax, which will now pay superannuation to employees on parental leave for up to one year.

The move follows years of campaigning by the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, which says the Fairfax announcement will now have implications for the entire industry.

Fairfax is the biggest media player to agree to do this — and as we’ve seen in other industry sectors, when one major employer makes the move to improve their parental leave policies, others quickly follow the lead.

In the finance sector, all of the big four banks now offer superannuation to employees on parental leave for a number of years. HSBC recently followed suit, offering it on top of unpaid parental leave for up to 24 months.

Late last year we reported on Viva Energy Australia’s announcement that it will offer full-time superannuation payments to those taking unpaid parental leave, as well as those working part-time, for up to five years.

These are good examples from employers trying to do their bit to help close the gender pay gap. The next step is for the Government to follow the lead, offering superannuation contributions on top of the Paid Parental Leave Scheme.

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