It’s been nearly two years since Medibank made history by re-writing the rules on parental leave. So what changes have we seen?
Before the new policy was introduced, only 2.5 percent of employees taking parental leave longer than two weeks were male.
Men hadn’t felt comfortable asking for leave, many worrying how it might look or fearing it could jeopardise career prospects.
We recognised that things needed to change. And they have.
This perception has shifted with 33% of Medibank dads now taking on average eight weeks of parental leave.
Our policy has now been recognised two years in a row as one of the best workplaces for dads – this year taking out third place - after an analysis of Australia’s largest 500 companies by Direct Advice for Dads and CoreData.
It entitles parents regardless of gender to 14 weeks of leave within the first 24 months of their child coming into the home. It also provides external and confidential executive coaching to all new parents, ensuring they can still invest in their career whilst on leave.
Medibank Senior Executive Nick Bailey is taking 14 weeks of parental leave to spend with his 3 young kids (aged 5, 3 and 1).
“The policy change has given me the opportunity to spend extended time with my kids. It’s time I haven’t had before and won’t have again.”
“It’s also been incredibly valuable as my wife is heading back to work when I start my leave and having one of us at home will help make her transition back easier,” said Mr Bailey.
The new policy has shifted the stereotype that caring for a child is just for women. And our people have said they’re feeling happier and more supported.
We’re retaining 75% of our people 12 months after they return from parental leave and are finding they are more engaged when they return.
People are now comfortable asking to work flexibly - working from home or with flexible start and finish times so they can get to school pick up or an appointment with their children.
The changes we’ve seen extend beyond an increase in dads taking parental leave, we’re hearing more stories about people’s families shared amongst teams, which I love to see.
The results speak for themselves – it has been a win for families and Medibank.