“We’re all just parents at the end of the day, and we all get to share that care”.

“The child’s needs don’t stop after the first 12 months”.

 “It allows us the availability for [my partner] to make her own choices.”

QBE have announced major changes to their paid parental leave, and their employees share the impact of it on their individual families in a powerful new video announcement released this week (watch the video below).

The new paid parental leave initiative, called ‘Share the Care’, eliminates the gendered terms of “primary” and “secondary” carer, instead now offering its existing 12-weeks paid parental leave to every new parent – acknowledging the important roles all parents play within a working family. 

And just as every family has different needs, employees have the option of taking their parental leave in different ways – for example, the 12-weeks can be used by taking two-weeks leave at the time of the child’s birth and following that with one, two or three day-week portions. Some may choose to take two days of parental leave a week for 25 consecutive weeks. This flexibility is available within a 24-month period following the arrival of the child. 

What makes this all the more impressive is that QBE is the first general insurer in Australia to adopt this flexible paid parental leave policy.

“Our goal is not to make our workplace more family friendly for women, but to make our workplace more family-friendly for all parents, acknowledging the critical role all parents play in family wellbeing and improved mental-health outcomes,” says Eleanor Debelle, Chief HR officer of QBE Australia Pacific.

QBE joins a growing list of organisations prepared to eliminate primary and secondary carer definitions to support all parents to have equal paid leave and to do so flexibly. This new parental leave initiative recognises that women and men deserve an equal opportunity and benefit to ‘share the care’, and families and workplaces are better off because of it.

“I sort of initially thought of it from my own perspective, but then when I started to think about what it meant for [my partner] Claudia, and for other women in the workplace and what it would open up for them – the true brilliance of the program really opened up to me”, says Sam Morgan, Property Claims Manager.

Read more at Employers paying men & women to equally ‘share the care’ gives reason for hope.

To join the conversation about parental leave equality, get involved in the new Advancing Parental Leave Equality Network (APLEN).

YouTube video