He has taken the full 18 weeks’ leave for each of his three children – three years ago with Charlotte (aged four), then Eliza, (now three) and now son Caleb (aged 15 months).
“The value of paid parental leave grows exponentially with each child,” he said.
Telstra sales manager and new dad Wayan Hadi said he got to enjoy some of those “first” moments he otherwise would have missed.
“It’s also given us the freedom to visit immediate family living overseas who haven’t yet been able to meet Emerson,” he said.
Shift in attitudes
Medibank head of people and culture Kylie Bishop said 33 per cent of its employees taking parental leave are now male, up from just 2.5 per cent.
“The attitudes towards family responsibilities have shifted throughout the business,” she said. “We know many men weren’t always comfortable asking for parental leave, or leaving earlier for child pick-up, feeling it could affect their career prospects.”
Medibank senior analyst Nick Bailey said: “My wife will be heading back to work when I start my leave and having one of us staying at home with the kids will help make her transition back to work easier.”
The list, compiled by insurer HBF’s website Direct Advice for Dads and research firm CoreData, uncovered a major uptick at top 500 Australian companies with more gender neutral policies.
The study found a 20 per cent jump in average leave for secondary carers to 1.3 weeks or 6.6 days (from 5.5 days last year).
“[It’s] a conversation starter to challenge the long-held gender stereotypes that still exist in Australian society and the workplace, and to drive greater equality for everyone,” Deloitte CEO Richard Deutsch said.
More than a third of top 500 companies now offer at least two weeks’ leave and nine companies entered the top 20 list for the first time this year.
There was also a 50 per cent increase in the number of employers meeting the criteria for the list (66, up from 44).
“We want every parent, regardless of gender, to be able to share caring responsibilities while maintaining their career,” Telstra’s head of transformation and people, Alex Badenoch, said.
The criteria to make the list includes having at least two weeks’ paid leave for secondary carers, a minimum 12 weeks’ paid leave for primary carers and a “pass-the-baton” policy to allow dads to take over when mum returns to work.
The Deloitte program also includes a return to work program that allows individuals who have taken an extended career break a fully paid, 20-week, intern-style transition program back into the workplace.