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Enhanced parental leave policy increases support for working parents at GSK Australia and New Zealand

GSK Australia and New Zealand is proud to share the next evolution of its parental leave policy that ensures benefits are inclusive and accessible for all GSK employees to best support them through the journey of parenthood. These changes build on our already supportive policy and were uniquely built with input from a number of our team members who themselves have experienced the impact of our policy as well as benchmarking against our peers in industry.

Anyone taking parental leave from 1 January 2022 will be able to enjoy the following changes:

  • Increased paid leave for Primary Caregivers – from 12 weeks to 16 weeks, plus a 4 week return to work payment
  • Increased paid leave for Secondary Caregivers – from 4 weeks to 8 weeks
  • For employees in field-based roles who have a car (either tool of trade or car allowance), this will be maintained during the paid and unpaid parental leave periods for up to 12 months
  • Implementation of 10 days Family Leave which can be used where needed as employees progress through the fertility, pregnancy and/or adoption journeys
  • Removing evidence requirements for leave eligibility, except when required for work health and safety, to promote a culture of trust
  • GSK will also continue to pay Australian Superannuation & New Zealand KiwiSaver contributions during the paid and unpaid leave periods.

“Having a baby is life-changing and everyone deserves the chance to spend quality time with their family.”

“In announcing this next evolution of our parental leave policy, I am proud that in addition to providing excellent benefits to our employees our policy is inclusive and accessible. We listened to what our team have experienced and need and have built that feedback into the support we offer, so everyone embarking on the caregiving journey has what they need to succeed both at home and in the workplace,” said David Fitz-Gerald, Head of Human Resources, Australia and New Zealand.

“Everything we do is based on trust, so it was important that we demonstrated that by removing onerous evidence requirements where possible. That trust also extends to ensuring our team retains access to key devices or their car – the last thing any new parent needs is to be short on access to essential information or transport,” said David.

The simplified policy also takes a gender-neutral approach that encourages all parents to take primary caregiver leave. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) 2019-2020 Gender Equity Report, parental leave has the potential to break down gender stereotypes around paid and unpaid work if taken by men and women.

Simon Barnfather, new Dad and Lead Health Economist (Reimbursement and Pricing), recently accessed the new policy.

“As my partner’s maternity leave was ending, I decided to take up parental leave so that I could better support her transition back to her career and to spend some extended time with my daughter, Zara, without the pressure of full-time work.”

“Taking parental leave seemed like an obvious step for me as it not only helped me create a stronger bond with my daughter, but it also helped my partner integrate back into the workforce,” said Simon.

Simon Barnfather and Zara Barnfather

The changes to the policy also aim to help close the gender pay gap by continuing to pay superannuation or Kiwi Saver throughout parental leave and providing female employees in particular with greater support and opportunities for career development, regardless of parental leave. Despite planning to go on parental leave, Brittney Carroll was promoted to First Line Sales Manager shortly before the birth of her son.

“GSK has supported my career development and family life simultaneously. After working at GSK Australia for 10 years across many different roles in the organisation, I was lucky enough to take 12 months of parental leave after the birth of my son and spend precious time with my family,” said Brittney Carroll.

“GSK is very supportive of work-life balance, and this in turn empowers us as employees to remain flexible and drive performance,” said Brittney.

The Carrol Family

David Fitz-Gerald says that the move brings GSK Australia and New Zealand one step closer to achieving the ‘Employer of Choice’ status from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency

“With these changes, we’ve set the local benchmark for how pharmaceutical companies can help new families and support their employees. Together, we’re continuing to build a supportive workplace environment that fosters genders equality and supports employees both professionally and personally,” said David.