Coles Plans to Introduce Paid Parental Leave Benefits
Did you hear about the new paid parental leave benefits Coles has introduced? Fortunately, the news is true. The company has always taken its duty to ensure the happiness of its consumers very seriously, and it has now added another priority to offer support to its employees by improving their parental leave benefits and creating a better work environment.
Previously, it had a few restrictions on its employees’ parental leave benefits. However, it has now decided to expand benefits and support former and new employees.
What is Coles?
Coles is a company that provides quality products and services to Australians. Its main goal is to become the most trusted retailer in Australia by being reliable and providing the best and healthiest products. It operates many retail chains and processes millions of consumer transactions each week. Its businesses include Coles Supermarket, Coles Online, Coles Express, flybuys, and Coles Liquor.
How Will the New Paid Parental Leave Work?
Coles has decided to expand its support for its employees and has announced new paid parental leave benefits. Previously, it had restricted paid leave eligibility for existing and new employees. They had to provide 12-months of service before being able to access the benefits.
However, the supermarket giant has announced that it has removed the 12-month service eligibility period as of September 1, 2022. Employees in both its stores and distribution centers no longer need to postpone family plans for the 12-month waiting period.
Kris Webb, Coles’ Group Chief of People and Culture, has also announced that secondary carers could receive leave too to support their partners with this life-changing event. The new benefit includes an increase in the parental leave period for secondary carers from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. Primary carers get up to 12 weeks of paid leave.
Team members also have a two-year period instead of the previous 12 months period to take leave from the date of the birth of a child, surrogacy birth of a child, or adoption of a child. They are flexible to take leave as blocks of days or as single days. It is up to them.
Also, Coles may provide superannuation payments for primary carers who are on government-paid parental leave so staff members can get leave based on minimum wage. It has also made the benefits to those who have lost a child official.
How Many Other Australian Companies Offer Paid Parental Benefits?
According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 3 out of 5 companies provide employees with a form of paid parental leave. This is in addition to the paid benefits the government offers to the community. ٍMany small businesses cannot afford to offer paid leave, but they have to provide unpaid maternity leave for primary carers.
Many of the largest companies in Australia are now providing paid parental leave to support its members (including fathers) in growing their families. Many fathers can now plan for their paternity leave and help mothers care for the new addition to the family.
The concept of paid leave is now widely accepted in the country, and there is a dramatic increase in the number of companies providing this benefit. In fact, many companies are now competing to provide the best benefits, and almost none have decreased the benefits. This rise in Australian companies providing paid parental benefits has made life easier for employees and has created a great work-life balance.
How Many Weeks of Paid Parental Leave are Parents Entitled to in Australia?
According to Australia Services, paid primary parental leave is based on the minimum wage. Employees can get up to 18 weeks or 90 days of paid parental leave. 60 of those days must be taken continuously, and the other thirty days are flexible. On the other hand, partners can get paternity leave for up to two weeks. So together, new parents can get up to 20 weeks of paid leave.
Why Should Companies Offer Paid Parental Leave?
Employees are not the only ones who benefit from these changes. Employers benefit dramatically too. Paid leave does come with a cost, but the costs are minimal when compared to the advantages. There are five main benefits of paid parental leave:
- It motivates mothers to come back to work. Without the benefits, many primary carers would need to quit their jobs to take care of their child.
- Many talented employees would not accept working for companies that do not provide family benefits. Building a family is an important desire for many, and having paid leave is a game changer for them. So, by providing these benefits, employers are more likely to find workers.
- Team members are happier when they know they can leave their job and still come back. They are more productive when they know they can trust the company they work for.
- After birth, mothers need to be able to stay home and recover. The benefits help women regain their health after childbirth, giving them time to properly recover and bond with their baby.
- Parents can stay home with their new child and not have to worry about childcare. They will then also have the time to plan for appropriate childcare for when they return to work.
What is the Difference Between Paid Paternal Leave and Maternity Leave?
To understand your benefits, you must know the difference between paid parental leave and maternity leave. The main difference is to whom the benefits apply.
According to Fair Work, parental leave benefits apply to mothers, fathers, and partners. The parents could be biological or adoptive. The parents could also take leave not at the same time. In contrast, maternity leave benefits apply only to biological mothers.