Although the provision of employer-funded paid parental leave reached a six-year high, over 50% of employers still provide NO access to employer-funded paid parental leave. Access to paid parental leave is highly dependent on the size and industry of the employer.
In 2018-19, the number of employers offering paid parental leave for primary carers increased by 1.6pp to 49.4%.
43.8% of employers offered paid parental leave for secondary carers – an increase of 2.0pp.
Women account for 93.5% (down 1.4pp from 2017-18) of all primary carer’s leave utilised with men accounting for only 6.5% (up 1.4pp).
Overall, women account for 71.5% (down 0.7pp) of all parental leave while men comprise the remaining 28.5% (up 0.7pp).
Primary carer’s leave is most commonly available in large organisations: 74.5% of organisations with 5000+ employees offer it, compared with 43.8% of organisations with fewer than 250 employees.
Length of paid primary carer’s leave
Of those employers offering paid primary carer’s leave, 7-12 weeks is the most common length of leave period (19.9%). Only 4.0% of employers offer 18 or more weeks of paid primary carer’s leave.
Improved results on support for caring
There is solid growth in organisations reporting they have a formal policy or strategy to support employees with family and caring responsibilities (up 2.2pp to 66.5%). The proportion of employers offering non-leave based measures to support employees with caring responsibilities also increased (up 1.5pp to 55.2%).
Of those employers that provide support, the most common non-leave based measures are breastfeeding facilities (69.4%) and referral services to support employees with family and/or caring responsibilities (52.4%).
Just 10.8% of these employers offer on-site childcare, 7.5% offer employer-subsidised childcare and 7.3% offer return to work bonuses on return from parental leave.
Parental Leave by Industry
Increased access to paid parental leave in most industries
Paid primary carer’s leave is most commonly offered in Education and Training (79.2%) and Financial and Insurance Services (76.4%).
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services remains in the top three (75.5%) despite a 3.2pp drop since 2016-17.
Paid primary carer’s leave is least frequent in Retail Trade (21.3%) and Accommodation and Food Services (20.6%).
More organisations promote flexible working
The 2018-19 data shows a 2.0pp increase in the number of organisations reporting they have a formal flexibility policy and/or strategy in place.
Financial and Insurance Services has the highest proportion of organisations with a formal policy and/or strategy on flexible working arrangements (up 4.7 pp to 90.6%).
Construction has the lowest proportion (down 0.4pp to 55.5%).
The strongest improvements were in Wholesale Trade (up 6.4pp to 74.8%), Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services (up 5.1pp to 77.1%) and Mining (up 5.1pp to 68.0%).
Just over one in four organisations with a flexible working strategy provide manager training on flexible work and only one in 20 set targets for employee engagement in flexible work.
Gender equality strategies
Employers continue their focus on gender equality
Over 75% of the organisations reporting to the Agency now have an overall gender equality strategy or policy (up 1.1pp to 75.4%).
Action on pay equity
More organisations analyse gender pay gaps
There was solid growth in the number of employers analysing their payroll data for gender pay gaps (up 3.1pp to 44.7%). Of these, over six in ten reported taking action as a result of their pay gap analysis (up 1.8pp to 60.5%). However, an action gap remains: 39.5% of employers who undertook a pay gap analysis then took no action to address it.
More organisations with formal strategies for pay equity
The number of organisations implementing formal policies and/or strategies on remuneration with specific pay equity objectives is increasing. 62.7% of organisations report having a formal policy and/or strategy on remuneration (up 1.1pp). Of these organisations, 40.9% now have pay equity objectives in their remuneration policy or strategy.
Family and domestic violence
More organisations support employees experiencing family or domestic violence
There was a substantial increase in the number of employers who have a formal policy or strategy to support employees who are experiencing family or domestic violence, up 13.3pp to 60.2%. The industries with the strongest increase were Arts and Recreation Services (up 21.2pp to 67.3%), Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services (up 21.1pp to 66.3%) and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (up 20.9pp to 68.5%).
There was also a strong increase in the number of employers offering paid domestic violence leave (up 8.9pp to 30.3%).
More organisations offer domestic violence support mechanism
The number of employers offering some form of support for employees experiencing family or domestic violence increased by 2.9pp to 88.3%.
Although all industries have gender pay gaps in favour of men, the actual dollar amounts vary widely between industries.
The large differences between the total remuneration and base salary gender pay gap in the Financial and Insurance Services, Construction and Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services industries suggest additional payments such as bonuses and commissions are a factor.
Gender pay gaps by industry
All industries have a gender pay gap in favour of men
Financial and Insurance Services remains the industry with the highest total remuneration gender pay gap at 29.3%. However, it has decreased year-on-year since 2013-14.
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services has replaced Construction as the industry with the second-worst gender pay gap at 26.9%. The gender pay gap in the female-dominated industry of Health Care and Social Assistance barely shifted, declining by just 0.2pp (up 1.2pp from 14.7% in 2015-16 to 15.9% in 2018-19).