How can fathers be encouraged to take an active role in childcare?

Posted by Prachi Kishore on 29 May, 2018

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Stockland: Supporting parents and carers

Posted by Arunima Kumar on 29 May, 2018

For many years, the Australian property development company, Stockland, has been focused on providing competitive parental benefits to attract and retain employees.

Understanding that the caring requirements of employees vary widely, the company’s priority has been on reviewing its existing offering and looking for improvements that provide employees with a greater degree of flexibility in how they structure their parental leave benefits.

All employees are eligible for paid parental leave after six months of permanent service and superannuation accrues while on paid parental leave. The employee’s full salary is paid for 16 weeks, in addition to the government’s paid scheme, whether it is taken in 16 consecutive weeks or spread out over a longer period.

In 2016, a Parents and Carers Employee Advocacy Group was formed and it has been the catalyst for changes to parental benefits, including new leave benefits which took effect in May 2017. These include changes to long service leave so people who have taken time out of the workforce are entitled to pro-rata long service leave on their 10-year anniversary date with Stockland, as well as managers having the discretion to allow primary carer’s leave within 18 months of birth or adoption to encourage more males/secondary carers to subsequently take primary carers’ leave.

Another new parental leave benefit, Parental Flex Options, gives employees a choice of one of three benefits when taking primary carers’ leave:

  • two additional weeks of paid leave or
  • the employee’s regular rate of superannuation paid during unpaid parental leave for a maximum of 36 weeks or
  • a lump sum of $3,000 (gross amount) on return from parental leave.

One of the other key return-to-work supports is an on-site childcare facility, Treehouse, purpose built in 2009 at Stockland’s head office in Sydney. The Parental Transitions program has helped achieve a consistent, more than 90% return to work rate since 2010 (92% in the 2016 financial year), compared to 70% before 2009.

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