Greater support for working parents at Suncorp
New parents who are Suncorp Group employees are set to benefit from an increase in paid parental leave and more flexible parental leave options.
Flexible working has always been important to Suncorp, and to strengthen that commitment, the Group has announced a suite of enhancements to our parental leave policy.
All permanent full-time and part-time employees who are primary carers will be offered 16 weeks parental leave, which is an increase from the previous 13 weeks.
Secondary carers will be offered three weeks paid leave, an increase from two weeks.
Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said these changes are a key element of the Group’s diversity and inclusion strategy, and business case for improving gender equality.
“Suncorp is proud to have a large female workforce, including 51% of our leadership cohort. These changes will go a long way in supporting all of our employees who become parents,” Mr Johnston said.
Becoming a parent is a special time, but we know it can be a challenging transition. Our focus has been on giving our people choice and flexibility, while also providing greater financial support.Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston
In addition to accessing additional financial support, Suncorp people can now easily swap between being the primary and secondary carer, which Mr Johnston said would give them the flexibility to do what is best for their family in those early years.
“Flexible working has always been part of the way we work, and these changes are an extension of the support options we offer all our employees.
"We’re proud to have a diverse workforce and are committed to helping our people be their best at work and at home.”
The revised policy also includes changes to the eligibility criteria giving new permanent employees access to the Group’s parental leave benefits immediately after they pass probation.
Recently appointed Group Executive of People, Culture and Advocacy Fiona Thompson said starting a new role should not be a hurdle to progressing with other life decisions.
“These changes mean our people, regardless of how long they have worked for us, won’t have to choose between their career or family, and have the support to prioritise both,” Ms Thompson said.
“While we expect these changes to largely support our female workforce at first, our hope is that this will open up opportunities for more fathers to take on or share the role of primary carer, which in turn will go a long way towards gender equality.
The more we can do to support parents and welcome them back to work when they’re ready, will not only help our people to enjoy each stage of their life, but will also build a more diverse and inclusive culture for our business.Group Executive of People, Culture and Advocacy Fiona Thompson
Jessica Smith, a Banking Consultant at Suncorp’s Penrith branch in New South Wales, is due to give birth to her second child in July and will benefit from the extra support.
“Suncorp was very flexible with me returning from parental leave,” said Ms Smith. “I was able to return part-time and relocate to a store that was closer to home. I was able to leave on time to pick up my son and still work a full day.
“I had great support from my leader when I needed to have time off due to my little one being sick or needing to leave work early to pick him up from daycare.”
“Parental leave is not a holiday,” she said. No one knows this better than a parent. As wonderful as it is to have little people in your life, your days rarely go to plan.”
The first phase of revised entitlements come into effect on 1 July 2021 and will be available to all permanent employees across Australia.
The next phase is expected to be announced next year.
A new suite of benefits, aligned to local legislation, will also be available to Suncorp New Zealand employees.