NEW parents are being lured back to work with cash bonuses and generous childcare assistance initiatives aimed at retaining staff.
From next month, oil company Caltex Australia will offer a package that includes quarterly bonuses of 3 per cent, and up to $1500 of emergency childcare.
The move comes as businesses look at ways to stop the drain of talent after childbirth, including flexible hours, paying for childcare and building onsite childcare centres.
The Caltex BabyCare initiative aims to help with costs such as childcare, with the bonus paid until the child’s second birthday.
For an employee earning $75,000 a year, this would mean $9000 before tax, inclusive of superannuation.
The company also will set up breastfeeding rooms and help find childcare providers.
“Returning to work after caring full-time for a newborn baby can be a challenging time, both emotionally and financially.”
Caltex chairwoman Elizabeth Bryan said the package, to be launched today in Sydney, would be paid in addition to its paid parental leave.
“Returning to work after caring full-time for a newborn baby can be a challenging time, both emotionally and financially,” Ms Bryan said.
“The package provides these employees with both the practical support and flexibility.”
She said modelling had found only a small number would need to return to work to make the program worthwhile.
Shine Lawyers pays up to 20 per cent more of an employee’s salary in childcare/domestic costs on return to work, and 18 weeks’ maternity leave.
Insurance Australia Group offers 20 weeks’ parental leave at full pay – 14 weeks, then a six-week “welcome back payment”.
Helen Conway, director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, said the incentives would pay dividends for organisations.
“Organisations that do this will benefit from greater access to talent, increased morale, and the retention of talented staff all of which contribute to better organisational performance,” she said.