Up to two years parental leave that can be taken flexibly, special leave for stillbirths and miscarriages, and eight weeks transition back to fulltime work are key features of a new parental leave initiative announced by SAP.  

Under the new policy, which will be effective on 1 December 2021, SAP has increased its entitlement to offer employees 22 weeks of paid parental leave for primary carers and 12 weeks paid parental leave for secondary carers.  

The new policy includes: 

  • No minimum tenure/service requirement to access parental leave for SAP employees who have passed probation 
  • Twenty-two weeks paid parental leave for primary carers and twelve weeks leave for secondary carers (minimum two weeks at a time). 
  • Flexibility on the timing of leave, with the option to take paid leave within two years of welcoming a child, instead of one year 
  • Inclusion of special parental leave where if stillbirth occurs and/or miscarriage after twenty weeks, employees are eligible for full entitlement. If under twenty weeks, employees are eligible for up to three weeks leave. 
  • Eight weeks transition back to fulltime work with flexibility on how many days employees work dependant on agreement with manager. Employees must work minimum two days for four weeks and then increase thereafter. 

“We are a people-focused business and our people are at the heart of our success. We are committed to driving an inclusive and flexible culture at SAP and to do that effectively, being proactive about reviewing and updating our policies is important. We made changes a few years ago to ensure superannuation was contributed to over the unpaid period and that our parental leave policy reflected all families, including those with same-sex parents. And this year we did another review to ensure our policies supported and celebrated our parents as they embark on their wonderful and life changing event,” says Debbie Rigger, Head of Human Resources at SAP Australia and New Zealand.  

“How you approach your parental leave policy reflects how you feel about your employees and their families. We listened to what our people wanted, sought external counsel and thought hard about how we could best support our families through all the highs and lows that come with these moments that matter. One important change for us, was to ensure for any pregnancies where a miscarriage or stillbirth occurs after 20 weeks, SAP employees are entitled to the full parental leave period to take the time they need for themselves before returning to the workforce. We want to help our staff navigate major transitions in their work life, while understanding that professional and personal lives overlap.” 

Sameer Aimandi, Solution Architect at SAP Australia says, “Life throws curveballs and opportunities at you all the time. My wife, who also works at SAP, had the chance to apply for a promotion while she was on maternity leave. When she was successful, I jumped into the role of primary carer for my daughter a couple of months earlier than my wife and I had planned.  

“The way SAP supported me and my wife throughout our combined parental leave periods taught me the importance of having the ability, and feeling professionally supported, to make decisions that are right for you and your family. The increased flexibility and support offered by SAP’s updated parental leave policy is another step in ensuring that parents don’t feel like they need to sacrifice professionally to benefit personally.” 

Under the new parental leave policy, SAP has also partnered with purpose-led social enterprise, From Babies with Love, to deliver each new SAP parent in Australia and New Zealand, a bespoke newborn gift set with all profits going to vulnerable children, providing family homes, education, healthcare and support to overcome trauma.  

You can learn more about SAP’s approach to diversity and inclusion, best workplace awards, early talent certifications and more at the Employer Awards section of sap.com. You can also read more about Sameer’s parental leave story here.