- Deloitte has been named the top workplace for new dads due to its parental leave policies.
- The company provides 18 weeks of paid parental leave as well as extended time to take parental leave.
- Deloitte's National Lead Partner of Inclusion, Diversity & Wellbeing added that removing the primary and secondary carer labels in its policy helped "immensely remove the misconception that parental leave was only for women".
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Deloitte has topped the list as the best workplace in Australia for new dads.
The 20 Best Australian Workplaces for New Dads list was compiled by non-profit health insurer HBF's Direct Advice For Dads resource for new and expecting dads.
Consulting firm Deloitte took the top title following analysis of its parental leave scheme. For all new parents employed at the company, Deloitte offers 18 weeks of paid leave including superannuation. It also continues super payments during unpaid parental leave up to 34 weeks.
Other benefits Deloitte provides include extended time to take parental leave – with the option to spread their parental leave over 36 months. They can take the leave flexibly, either as one continuous period, two distinct periods or part-time on a weekly basis. For example, it could mean working 3 days and taking 2 days of paid parental leave.
When it comes to co-parenting - both parents can access paid and unpaid parental leave at the same time or at different times.
Deloitte CEO, Richard Deutsch, said in a statement that the company was committed to gender equality and providing equal access to parental leave to both men and women played an important part in achieving it.
“I’m extremely proud of our parental leave policy and the impact it’s making, not just in supporting all Deloitte parents, but also as a conversation starter to challenge the long-held gender stereotypes that still exist in Australian society and the workplace, and to drive greater equality for everyone,” he said.
Deutsch added that by offering more flexibility on how workers can use parental leave, Deloitte has seen more men actually take parental leave.
"We see this as an important part of our culture, but we’re also trying to shape best practice in Australia. If businesses like Deloitte can help push these things in the right direction, then we believe the business community and society as a whole will be better off.”
It's the second time in a row that the top 20 list has been published, designed to encourage more companies to provide parental leave policies for dads. The list was compiled together with consultancy firm CoreData. They analysed the policies of Australia's largest 500 companies by revenue according to IBISWorld and worked with parenting and workplace experts to pinpoint the most important benefits for new dads.
To qualify for the list, companies had to offer a minimum of two weeks paid leave for secondary carers, 12 weeks paid leave for primary carers and flexible work to support dads taking a bigger role in childcare responsibilities. On top of that, primary carer’s leave had to be available for a minimum of 12 months after the birth, allowing dads to use it if their partners return to work.
Margaret Dreyer, National Lead Partner of Inclusion, Diversity & Wellbeing at Deloitte said removing the primary and secondary carer labels in its policy helped "immensely remove the misconception that parental leave was only for women".
"We simply call it ‘parental leave’ and it’s available to both parents, regardless of gender or caring role," she said. "It’s about fairness, inclusion and making things equal. We know that families come in all shapes and sizes, so we’ve also made it clear that our policy is for all types of families including birth, adoptive, surrogate, foster and same-sex parents, as well as intentionally calling out to our Deloitte dads to encourage them to take extended parental leave."
Research from a study on Sweden – which provides some of the world's most generous parental leave – suggests having more fathers more available to help with a newborn can improve the mental health of mothers. It found mothers are 26% less likely to need anti-anxiety medication and 11% less likely to need antibiotic prescriptions.
In addition to 18 weeks of paid leave, Deloitte also has a range of support programs for new parents. These include 'Deloitte Dads' which encourages men to take parental leave and work flexibly and the 'Reconnect Program' which gives new parents coaching to help them navigate parenthood while trying to advance their career.
Deliotte Director Phil Robinson took the full 18 weeks leave for each of his three children. He said it was a "massive eye opener for me in terms of the amount of work required to look after kids."
"I quickly had to reset my expectations of what I could actually achieve in a day," he said in a statement. "They started at: ‘immaculate house, hot meals each night, harmonious family life’ and quickly reset themselves down to ‘Keep everyone alive’.”
Robinson added that parental leave let him develop stronger relationships with his children and allowed him to see the "little changes" that happen in their lives each day.
"I’ve also seen a change in their behaviour: they used to run to mum for a cuddle when they fell over, now they come to me as well when they want comfort. We are both seen as providing that role,” he said.
Here are the top 10 companies listed among the best for new dads:
- Deloitte Australia
- Medibank Private
- QBE Insurance Group
- Macquarie University
- Australian Securities Exchange