Usually when we talk about maternity leave, it’s about what’s lacking about it. Especially in the United States. Well a new maternity leave policy implemented by an Australian company once again has me shaking my head at the dismal state of maternity benefits here.
According to The ABC
, The Insurance Australia Group, one of the biggest companies in the land Down Under, has changed their maternity leave policy not only provides 14 weeks months of paid maternity leave, but a “back-to-work bonus” that doubles their salary for the first six weeks of their return.
“Basically this initiative came out of some discussions that we had with our people and specifically women on the difficulties and pressures that they faced upon returning to the workforce, and we think this welcome back payment is a good first step in helping them to address a number of those pressures,” IAG’s chief executive Mike Wilkins, told The ABC.
While the response has been overwhelmingly positive, the action is not without its critics. Detractors say that women are being rewarded to take time off to have a baby (which, if you’ve ever had a baby, you know it isn’t time off!). Still, for a woman who is trying to decide whether or not she should return to work, the bonus is a great incentive, one that benefits her co-workers and the company too.
Not to mention, if you are a parent or not, a company that offers a benefit like this obviously cares about its workers and is probably a pretty nice place to work.
Did you receive maternity/paternity benefits?