Parental leave ‘to ease skills crisis’

Parental Leave Scheme

Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme commences on 1 January 2011, but a survey conducted by recruiting experts Hays found that almost 30 per cent of employees say it’s just a start.

"Most employers we speak to agree with the concept of Paid Parental Leave, and despite compliance costs they generally do support this scheme," said Nick Deligiannis, Director of Hays.

"But as our survey shows, almost 30 per cent of employees feel that the scheme should become longer or more generous in the future."

The online survey of 437 people asked, ‘Do you support the introduction of the Paid Parental Leave scheme on 1 January?’ 41 per cent of respondents said it’s a fantastic scheme that’s overdue; 30 per cent said they would like it to become longer/more generous; 29 per cent said they do not support Paid Parental Leave.

"Paid Parental Leave is a huge social change for the Australian workplace in the same way that the introduction of Medicare and compulsory Superannuation were," said Nick. "Ultimately it will become an accepted part of Australian workplace culture.

"Paid Parental Leave also has significant advantages given our looming skills crisis, where retaining skills will be of critical importance to organisations. Meeting the needs of new parents is another way that an employer can help retain its skilled and valuable staff.

"This scheme is a positive step to a higher participation rate, but as our survey shows there are people who support a longer scheme and who believe it is just a start."

Hays have had a paid maternity leave scheme in place since 2005 and in 2010 were the only recruitment company and one of only 95 organisations in Australia to receive the EOWA Employer of Choice for Women (EOCFW) citation.

The full results of the survey, conducted on hays.com.au, were:
40.91 per cent – Yes, it’s a fantastic scheme that’s overdue
29.77 per cent – Yes, but I’d like it to become longer/more generous
29.32 per cent – No, I don’t support Paid Parental Leave

Article supplied by Hays.


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