11 May 2021
Rest, one of Australia’s largest profit-to-member superannuation funds, has taken further action to promote gender equality by implementing one of the leading gender-neutral paid parental leave schemes in Australia.1
Rest has increased the duration of its paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 16 weeks and made it available to all eligible employees, removing references to gender, and primary or secondary care status.
Eligible full-time and part-time Rest employees can apply for an initial 12 months of parental leave and will also have flexibility in how they take the 16-weeks paid leave component in that time.
For example, they could take the paid leave as 16 consecutive weeks, in separate tranches like two periods of eight weeks, as 32 weeks at half-pay, or work in a flexible part-time arrangement for up to 40 weeks.
Importantly, Superannuation Guarantee contributions will continue to be paid to employees during both paid and unpaid parental leave.
“We have a diverse and inclusive culture at Rest and want to continue to attract the best talent to work on behalf of our members,” said Vicki Doyle, Chief Executive Officer, Rest.
“Fostering an environment that values diversity, inclusion, flexibility and participation leads to teams with a variety of skills, knowledge and experiences, and continuously strengthens the foundations for performance and decision making.
“Women make up 60 per cent of Rest’s membership, so it’s important we lead by example with a culture and practices that promote gender equality and improve financial security for women.
“As an organisation, we are committed to contributing to five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ‘Gender Equality’. This is an important milestone in further aligning with this goal.
“Rest was just named one of the AFR BOSS Magazine Best Places to Work for 2021. I’m pleased we can build on that achievement as an employer of choice by offering a truly equal parental leave scheme that is among the leading policies in Australia.”
Superannuation Guarantee contributions has been key feature of Rest’s parental leave offering since July 2016.
“Paying super contributions during parental leave is an important measure to minimise gender inequality in retirement incomes,” added Ms Doyle.
“We’ve long advocated for superannuation contributions to be included in the Australian Government’s Parental Leave Pay. We encourage the Government and other employers to include superannuation contributions as part of their parental leave.
Other features of Rest’s parental leave
Previously, pregnant employees could access up to 15 hours of pre-natal leave for commitments like medical appointments. This has been extended to up to five days and is now gender-neutral, so employees can support their pregnant partners at appointments.
Gender-based language has been removed from the parental leave policy. It is available to employees (irrespective of their gender, marital status or sexual orientation) who are expecting a child or adopting a child, if they are:
- permanent full-time or part-time employees with at least 12 months service prior to the expected date of birth or adoption; or
- long-term casual employees with at least 12 months regular and systematic service, who have a reasonable expectation of continuing regular and systematic work.
Parental Leave is for an initial period of up to 12 months, with scope to extend their unpaid leave, in certain circumstances, by up to 12 months to have a total of 24 months of parental leave.
Employees can apply take up to 30 days of their initial 12-month unpaid parental leave entitlement flexibly (including on a day basis) at any time within a 24-month period.