On 27 February Aurizon launched a bold new initiative to incentivise ‘dads’ to take on a greater share of parenting responsibilities.
Aurizon’s new ‘Shared Care’ initiative provides a financial incentive based on ‘half-pay’ for a partner to take a leave of absence to stay at home and care for their child in their first year, allowing the mother to return to work full-time.
Aurizon are pleased the initiative increases options for our male employees and ensures women will benefit by reducing the potential career and financial impacts of unpaid parental leave and periods of part-time employment.
To access the initiative Aurizon male employees are required to take on primary care of their child for at least 13 weeks during their child’s first 12 months, while their partner returns to full time work. In this scenario the man would receive 50% of his salary while he is undertaking full time care of his child, up to a maximum of 26 weeks.
A female Aurizon employee who returns to full time work in the first year after her child is born and whose partner has taken on full time care of their child in that period (and takes leave without pay from his employer to do so) will receive 150% of her salary, also up to a maximum of 26 weeks. The ‘Shared Care’ paid is inclusive of all Aurizon families including same sex couples, single parents, birth parents and adoptive parents.
Aurizon believes the initiative is the first of its kind in corporate Australia, which makes us very proud to lead by example in changing the way our society thinks about childcare and workplace flexibility. Aurizon hopes other organisations will see the benefits of this and follow their lead.
Aurizon Managing Director &CEO Lance Hockridge said Aurizon was taking a deliberate interventionist approach in its bid to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
“We’ve thought outside the box to genuinely alter the dynamics of childcare responsibilities within Aurizon families. At its core this is really about reducing the potential career and financial impacts women face after extended unpaid parental leave and subsequent part-time employment, ” he said.
“We know that it won’t be for everyone, but we believe it can start to change the nature of the conversation that soon-to-be parents have ‘round the kitchen table’ when thinking about the future,” he said.
“We believe the program is the first of its kind in Australia, which makes us very proud to lead by example in changing the way our society thinks about childcare and workplace flexibility. Equalising caring responsibilities would be a big step forward.”