How these three companies’ parental leave policies support working parents

Off the back of the #ShowUsYourLeave movement, three companies bring their parental leave offerings out of a policy document and into public view.

Refreshing parental leave policies: SAP ANZ

As the demographic make-up of a company’s workforce evolves, its leave policies need to shift to reflect employees’ unique needs.

Debbie Rigger, Head of HR at SAP Australia/NZ, explains how the company regularly reviews its parental leave policies to “drive an inclusive and flexible culture”.

“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,” she says.

“Last year we did another review to ensure our policies supported and celebrated our parents as they embark on their wonderful and life-changing event. Previously we required staff to be employed for a minimum of 12 months to access parental leave, which we felt was outdated and needed changing.

As of last December, some key features of SAP’s leave offerings include:

  • Primary carers are eligible for 22 weeks of paid parental leave. Secondary carers are entitled to 12 weeks of leave.
  • Eight weeks transition back to full-time work. Employees must work a minimum of two days for four weeks and then increase thereafter upon agreement with their manager.
  • Special parental leave for stillbirths and miscarriages. If a stillbirth or miscarriage occurs after 20 weeks, employees are eligible for paid parental leave. If under 20 weeks, employees are eligible for up to three weeks of leave.

“We are proud to provide special parental leave for parents who experienced stillbirth and/or miscarriage, giving them the time and space to grieve and take care of their wellbeing during those difficult times,” says Rigger.

“It also brings stillbirths and miscarriages out of the shadows, so staff feel supported and know that we are here for them and their families.”

  • No minimum tenure/service requirement to access parental leave for employees who have passed probation.
  • Parental leave can be taken flexibly. There is now the option to take paid leave within two years of welcoming a child, instead of the one-year limitation that was previously imposed.

SAP also has a longstanding policy of offering relocation leave to employees, which can be particularly valuable to working parents who need time off to move homes with a young family.

“We listened to what our people wanted, sought external counsel and thought hard about how we could best support our staff navigate major transitions in their life, while understanding that professional and personal lives overlap,” says Rigger.

Ensuring employees are aware of their leave entitlements from the get-go is a key priority at SAP – and the #ShowUsYourLeave movement can help to leverage this focus, says Rigger.

“In a competitive marketplace, if we are looking to build trust and retain talent within an organisation, there should always be transparency with leave policies. Employees should be aware of your policies and benefits from their first day at work,” she says.

“The #ShowUsYourLeave movement is a great initiative and I believe it could be a real driver for change. It is encouraging to see businesses both big and small putting their cards on the table.”

Read more of this article on HRM here