Medibank wins recognition as a leading workplace for 'Dads'

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HBF has released its annual 'Direct Advice for Dads' research. The research, now in its third year, is compiled by CoreData and has the goal of recognising Australia's 20 best workplaces for new dads.

The study analysed the largest 500 Australian companies by revenue to identify the workplaces that are leading the way with dad-friendly policies, including parental leave, flexible work and other benefits.

The list that was topped by Deloitte, followed by Hollard Insurance and Telstra.

Several healthcare companies made the top ten, with Medibank ranked fifth, followed by two biopharmaceutical companies; Novartis (seven) and Sanofi (eight).

In the study, Medibank said it introduced its new approach to parental leave three years ago, underpinned by a gender-neutral policy where all prospective parents have equal access to 14 weeks paid parental leave. 

According to Kylie Bishop, group executive people and culture, in 2020 the proportion of men participating in parental leave longer than two weeks was 10 times higher than before the policy was introduced. 

“From the executive level down, we encourage and support new dads to take more than two week’s leave because we know that often it isn’t enough when you’ve welcomed a new baby into the family.

“There’s also been a seismic cultural shift. Dads are far more at ease when sharing stories of their family and feel more secure in their jobs whilst playing a greater role in their family. We saw that this year, with increased homeschooling due to COVID restrictions forcing schools to close.”

Sanofi’s director of human resources for Australia and New Zealand, Michelle Zimany, said this year’s ranking reflects the company's commitment to supporting all employees.

“We know that an equal world is an enabled world, which is why we’ve taken so many steps to equal the playing field for all parents,” she said.

“Our family and flexible working policies take a no labels approach to family care meaning all employees, regardless of gender, are eligible for 12 weeks paid leave when their child arrives. Superannuation contributions continue and long service accrues while they are on their break.

“When our employees return they are well supported with childcare subsidies, flexible working and our long-standing school holiday care program, called 'Camp Sanofi', among other benefits.

“All employees are offered the same support regardless of whether they are birth, adoptive, surrogate, foster or same-sex parents.”

Richard Tew, the general manager and country president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia and New Zealand, also welcomed the recognition.

"The Novartis parental leave policy is a driver of equality for all our people, including our incredible Dads. As a global organisation we put a lot of thought into not just the benefits that work, but an inclusive policy that works for as many new parents as possible," he said.

"Times have changed; and so should our policies to include men equally, as well as LGBTIQ+ families. Being named in the HBF Best Workplaces for Dads is an important recognition of this progress."