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Viva Energy increases parental leave policy for working parents

Viva Energy says its new parental leave policy is a gamechanger that's set to provide more flexibility for its diverse workforce

Viva Energy is proud to announce that eligible Viva Energy employees will be entitled to 26 weeks of paid parental leave for babies born after January 1 this year.

This enhanced parental leave policy will provide better support for working parents and builds on Viva Energy’s commitment to build an inclusive and supportive work environment and improve work-life balance for its employees.

The extended paid leave (previously 14 weeks) is aimed at supporting parents with caring responsibilities and improving the balance between paid work and unpaid care.

The decision to announce the new policy on International Women’s Day is also significant as it will help to close the gender pay gap, given women typically take more extended periods of primary carer’s leave than men which can often be unpaid.

“Most women take between six and 12 months leave after childbirth, with a significant proportion of this time taken as unpaid leave. This has a material impact on the short term and life time earnings capacity of women, while undertaking one of the most important roles in our society,” Viva Energy CEO Scott Wyatt says.

“This new policy positions Viva Energy as one of the small number of companies that is absolutely leading in this area and further demonstrates our commitment to improving equality and outcomes for both men and women.”

In 2017, Viva Energy took an industry-leading step towards addressing the gender retirement savings gap by introducing full superannuation entitlement for periods of paid and unpaid parental leave.

As well as the generous primary carer’s leave announced yesterday, the new policy includes other leading entitlements such as the ability to take leave flexibly, support for miscarriage and people undergoing IVF, paid keeping-in-touch days, continued superannuation payments during periods of parental leave and equivalent full-time superannuation payments for parents returning part-time after their leave for up to five years.

“This a very exciting and meaningful change which will help us attract and retain the diverse talent which is needed to drive our business into the future,” Wyatt says.

“Together with our other parental care and flexible working policies, it will make a material difference to many people across the company and encourage other companies to follow our lead.”

Viva Energy regularly reviews its approach to parental leave in line with leading practice and will continue to evolve its policy as the market develops.

The announcement will help Georgie Porter, who is a workplace relations manager at Viva Energy’s Brisbane office.

She is going on maternity leave next week, so will be able to take advantage of the new parental leave policy. 

When she weont on parental leave for her daughter Lucy in March 2021, she decided she wanted to return to Brisbane and Viva Energy supported her moving her role to the Brisbane office.

“It takes the strain off being away from work for an extended period of time and allows me to focus on the new addition to our family,” Porter says.

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