Saturday, May 25, 2024

Kingston chalks up parental leave first for Victoria

Kingston has become the first Victorian metropolitan Council to introduce a shared parental leave policy.

The move follows the release of the Parents at Work white paper, the Federal Government announcing proposed changes in the 2022-23 budget, and similar policies being enacted by
corporates such as Westpac, Deloitte, Spotify and others, Council said in a statement.

The initiative now allows both parents of children born after 30 June 2022 to access up to 104 weeks parental leave, including 16 weeks paid leave.

Acting Mayor, Jenna Davey-Burns said Kingston Council was strongly committed to gender equality and creating structural change to achieve a safe and equal society.

“We are all responsible for making gender equality a reality across our workplaces and leading change in our community and this important step forward has been made to ensure support is being provided to all new parents within the organisation,” Cr Davey-Burns said.

“We recognise that both parents have equal responsibility to care for their child. Shared parental leave provides parents with the opportunity to spend quality time with their newborn and support each other in the vital early weeks and months.

“In taking this proactive step we are positively contributing to the removal of the harmful gender stereotyping that contributes to gender inequality.

“Kingston Council recognises the inequalities that exist between genders and how other forms of disadvantage and discrimination compound these.”

Council is implementing the support as a commitment of its Gender Equality Action Plan 2021 – 2025.

“As a local council, we have both a moral and legal responsibility to show leadership in advancing gender equality and influencing inclusion in our workplace and the community that we serve,” Cr Davey-Burns said.

Under the new policy partners can manage their leave flexibly and apply for it in the same way as annual leave. This will provide flexibility and further support in balancing family needs, the Mayor said.

The entitlement and conditions for the primary carer are unchanged and remain consistent with Federal Government law.

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