Winning With Inclusion: Medibank’s New Parental Leave Policy

Winning With Inclusion: Medibank’s New Parental Leave Policy

by Felicity Menzies
On 7 March, Australian Health Insurer, Medibank, announced a new FamilyFlex policy to mark International Women’s Day.
All eligible prospective parents, regardless of whether they’re the primary or secondary carer, will be able to take 14 weeks of paid leave within the first 24 months and can choose to take their 14 weeks leave across two different periods. Under the previous policy, the primary carer would be eligible for 14 weeks paid leave in one block, and the secondary carer could take two weeks of paid leave.
Medibank Group Executive of People & Culture Kylie Bishop said: “Our employees told us the old policy lacked flexibility and didn’t acknowledge that all families and babies are very different.  So we are removing the labels of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carer completely.  Instead, they’re a parent… We want to change the story and provide greater flexibility and participation in carer responsibilities regardless of gender.  Parental leave disproportionately affects female employees and it shouldn’t.”
In Australia, only 2% of fathers take any parental leave, 47% of primary carers receive no additional parental leave entitlements from their employer above the 18 weeks tax-payer funded parental leave at minimum wage, and only 25% of secondary carers are offered additional leave.
Link to media release

Felicity Menzies is CEO and Principal Consultant at Include-Empower.Com, a diversity and inclusion consultancy with expertise in inclusive leadership, unconscious bias, cultural intelligence and inclusion, gender equity, empowering diverse talent. Felicity is an accredited facilitator with the Cultural Intelligence Centre and the author of A World of Difference. Felicity has over 15 years of experience working with and managing diverse workforces in blue chip companies and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand. Felicity also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.