How do you build a successful parental leave program in your organisation?

Close-up of belly of pregnant woman office worker

Parents At Work recently hosted a panel webinar for HR and diversity professionals to support organisations to develop a successful parental leave program. Invaluable and insightful for people leaders, this webinar dug deep into the heart of two national organisations who shared some of the initiatives they have implemented to help parents navigate parental leave and beyond.

Catherine McNair, National Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Deloitte and Maree Morgan-Monk, Head of People and Culture at Peoplecare joined Emma Walsh, CEO of Parents At Work to deliver the best practice tips of these two quite different companies.

There was much to savor in this webinar and it is well worth a listen for any CEO, HR or Diversity professional looking for a strategy or best practice advice on getting started with a parental leave program or the ‘how to’ of creating family friendly workplace of the future. (If you would like a recording visit this link and you will be given instant access to the slide pack as well as the interview itself.)

What was covered?

  • Latest statistics on where Australia is fairing in paid parental leave
  • What is a parental leave program and why should my company have one?
  • Where do you start? What steps are involved?
  • Role of CEO’s, diversity professionals, people leaders and HR teams
  • Resource required
  • Challenges
  • Working examples from Deloitte and Peoplecare
A few highlights from our panelists included:

“What prompted us to act is that if you want to retain your workforce for a period of time – they grow and experience things within their lifecycle – and we support that. By doing that there are going to be times that they can be here more and times they are going to be there less but there contribution is still highly valued. The costs that are associated with bringing new people in to organisations – recruitment costs, productivity costs etc – if we are able to retain that and support the lifecycle that our people carers go through that is a bonus and a real no brainer for us”. Maree Morgan Monk, Peoplecare

“It was very much about helping people have the conversations that they needed to have, think through the logistics to what the return may be to actually set them up for success from day one not the return and then four weeks later wondering why things aren’t going particularly well… that was one key piece we knew we could focus on and have an immediate impact.” Catherine McNair, Deloitte

“How do we mainstream flexibility? how do we not make taking a career break or working flexibly a career killer? How do we make it a career enabler, make it as part of the culture – that if we live and breathe diversity and inclusion… fundamentally that is not going to be everybody working five days a week.” Catherine McNair, Deloitte

“We need to see both men and women across the organisation accessing work agility for a range of reasons, not just parenting.” Catherine McNair, Deloitte

“For [our CEO] to take an executive on board [part-time] really sent a message that it’s very possible and that he is so supporting throughout all levels of the organisation to support a focus on parents at work and how it can fit in with the responsibilities they have at work and the responsibilities they have with their families. Maree Morgan Monk, Peoplecare

“Fundamentally she (Deloitte CEO) want’s to see more men taking parental leave, she wants to see this mainstream, she doesn’t want this to be seen as a female issue… parenting is co-joined mission. This isn’t about one person driving the ship, there are two people in the equation and that doesn’t mean that one person needs to have their career on hold or impacted.”  Catherine McNair, Deloitte

“The most important benefit we’re seeing is the relief and balance our parents feel that we are supporting them… takes the pressure out. Other benefits we’re seeing is being recognised in the area is as being seen as an employer of choice… we’re seen as a great employer to come and work for.”  Maree Morgan Monk, Peoplecare

If you would like a recording visit this link for the full 1 hour webinar and slide pack. 

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