Topics

Parental leave and support for caring

Improved access to paid parental leave*

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.

2019 Scorecard table 4 - parental leave by org size

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.

2019 Scorecard chart 11 - weeks of parental leave offered

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%).
2019 Scorecard table 5 - parental leave by industry

 

Australian employers that measure their gender pay gaps are making positive progress in closing gaps between women’s and men’s pay, with leadership accountability being the key ingredient, a new report shows.