Our family leave policy helping to challenge stereotypes


12 months have flown by since EnergyAustralia introduced its leading family leave policy challenging the stereotype that women are the sole primary carers of their children.

EnergyAustralia provides all employees 20 weeks of paid family leave, which includes full-time superannuation benefits during the paid family leave period, plus during unpaid family leave over a 2-year period. This also includes superannuation paid on the full-time rate of the employee's role, when working part-time up until the child's fifth birthday.

A lot has changed in a short amount of time.

  • There has been a 16% increase in men at EnergyAustralia taking up the new paid leave policy over the past 12 months.
  • More than half (54%) of total applications for family leave in the 12 months since the policy was re-implemented were from men.
  • An increase in the duration of time men take for family leave, from 25 days before the new policy to 72 days.

Aiming for the superannuation gap that women disproportionately face from taking time away from work to care for children, an additional $352,000 was contributed to the women of EnergyAustralia who took leave following the introduction of the new policy.

EnergyAustralia Chief People Officer Anna Mealings said: “Employers play a huge role in disrupting gender stereotypes. Businesses have the opportunity to address systems that are set up to assume that women are the primary carers and provide the opportunity for men to participate fully in care.

“Removing language referring to gender labels that qualify one gender for paid family leave, has been transformative.

“Our policy is amongst one of the most progressive of any Australian employer.

“What we've seen is that men are opting in and taking leave flexibly, for example, taking a portion of it when the child is born, and the rest when the other parent returns to work, to ease the transition.

“It's created a wave of change around the business, including men working flexibly to get to school drop off and pickups, and people are talking about their lives outside work more.

Talent Acquisition Lead Adam DeCaria, who recently took family leave after the birth of his second child said: “EnergyAustralia is leading the way with this approach to family leave. It allowed me to spend precious time with my newborn and partner during beautiful, and often testing times.

“Having access to 20 weeks of paid family leave, with full superannuation benefits completely upends the conventional system where men, often classified as ‘secondary carers' would traditionally have access to 2 weeks.

“This is my second child, and this time round I feel more relaxed and engaged knowing I was supported by my employer who values the importance of family and people's busy lives outside the office.

“I also work in talent acquisition, and I see firsthand how these policies are contributing to both attracting and retaining great people to support our business.”