Telecommunications organisation Telstra has its enhanced its parental leave benefit, offering up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave for its 30,000 Australia-based employees.
The enhanced leave policy, effective from 1 July 2019, enables both and male and female members of staff with at least one year of service to take up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave within the first 12 months after their child has been born or adopted.
Previously, secondary carers received two weeks of paid leave; however, this benefit removes the distinction between primary and secondary carers in order to promote gender equality in the workplace.
Furthermore, Telstra has made its revised policy more flexible, allowing parents to take time off either in one continuous block or in multiple smaller installments. Leave can also be used to create a phased return to work, empowering staff to re-enter the workplace on a part-time basis, if they wish.
Although initially only available for the 30,000 employees based in Australia, Telstra is also exploring options to equalise the policies in place across its international locations.
Alex Badenoch, group executive of transformation and people at Telstra, said: “We want every parent, regardless of gender, to be able to share caring responsibilities while maintaining their career.
“Equal and shared parenting enables better gender equality in the workplace and reflects our changing society, where both parents contribute to caring and family commitments.
“We want our people to bring their whole selves to work and fulfil their most important role at home.”