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Westpac introduces paid fertility leave

Woman walking past Westpac building.
Westpac is introducing paid leave for employees undergoing fertility treatment. (Source: Getty)

Westpac is introducing paid leave for Aussie staff undergoing fertility treatment. The major bank joins a small number of Aussie companies offering the leave entitlement.

Westpac staff will be entitled to one week of paid fertility leave per year, in addition to the standard 10 days of sick leave.

Employees can use the leave to undertake fertility treatments such as IVF and to access related medical support. It can also be used by employees wanting to freeze their eggs.

Westpac’s group executive of human resources, Christine Parker, said an estimated 200 to 300 employees would benefit from the policy each year.

“Fertility treatment is on the rise and helps people to achieve this life milestone. However, it also requires a series of medical appointments, sometimes at short notice,” Parker said.

“With this new benefit, our employees will know that they are supported to attend these, without having to use their annual leave or sick leave.”

Parents At Work CEO and founder of the Family Friendly Workplaces initiative, Emma Walsh, said workplaces could play an important role in supporting employees undergoing fertility treatment.

“This is another welcome step forward for organisations committed to embedding family-friendly practices and supporting employees at an important time in their lives,” Walsh said.

Few workplaces offering fertility leave

Other Australian workplaces that offer the leave include the NSW public service and law firms DLA Piper and Ashurst, who all offer five days of paid fertility leave per year.

PR firm MediaCast offers five days of IVF leave per year, while Publicis Groupe offers 10 days of fertility-treatment leave.

It comes as Aussie unions prepare to campaign for 12 days of paid menstrual and menopause leave.

Workplaces including the Victorian Women’s Trust, Future Super and ModiBodi are currently offering staff the leave.

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