Fintech Shift announces 26 weeks paid parental leave
Shift, a provider of credit and payment platforms to Australian businesses, has set the bar for paid parental leave in the Australian finance industry, now offering staff 26 weeks paid parental leave, with two weeks of paid leave for secondary carers and partners.
This new leave is available to all full-time employees as soon as they complete their probation, with superannuation and other benefits continuing to be accrued while employees are on parental leave.
Jamie Osborn, Chief Executive Officer of Shift, commented that this new policy is about recognising the effort that staff give to the company and supporting them through what can be a time of immense change.
“The rollercoaster of welcoming a new baby into the home is huge, and we want our staff to be able to focus on this special time without financial worries or concerns about having to come back to work sooner than they would like,” said Jamie. “Our new policy aims to support our team and applies to all staff regardless of gender, recognising the varied nature of family dynamics and financial situations.”
Statistics on parental payments from the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) show that the average paid parental leave offered in the finance and insurance industry is 12.1 weeks, while the average across all companies is 10.9 weeks*.
While WGEA statistics show there is a long way to go to achieve the right balance regarding parental and carer’s leave, Jamie Osborn is encouraged that some organisations and industry bodies are leading by example and driving change.
“We applaud Fintech Australia’s recent move to recommend 12 weeks paid parental leave at full pay and are happy to be able to offer more,” said Jamie.
“Recent announcements by companies across a range of sectors to increase the amount and flexibility of parental leave offered show that while there’s a huge amount of work to do when it comes to gender equality, we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
Coinciding with Shift’s new parental leave policy, the company has also begun rolling out Shift Flex, a new approach to working which allows for Shift team members to arrive at an in-office / remote working combination that best suits their needs and those of the team.
Shift Flex sees all staff choose from tiered layers of working from home v working in the office, with most roles able to choose totally remote if that suits the individual and their team.
“We had a trial ready to go just before the first lockdown of 2020 hit, which really did end up being the ultimate trial,” said Jamie.
“It also taught us that while some people love working from home, there were many team members who couldn’t wait to return to the office. With that in mind we’ve created Shift Flex to make sure working rhythms and locations are created to suit individuals, the needs of job roles, teams and the company.”
*See the WGEA data explorer for further information regarding support for carers and paid parental leave in Australia.