Unilever Australia announces super policy to benefit primary carers and help ‘close the gap’

Unilever HQUnilever Australia has announced a new superannuation policy which offers full superannuation for an additional 36 weeks of unpaid leave, in a bid to better supporting parents and primary carers.

The consumer goods giant is hoping that the move will help close the gender wealth gap as parents taking primary carers leave are still predominantly women.

Women make up 46.5 per cent of Unilever’s local workforce and 51.2 per cent of managerial positions in Australia and New Zealand. On the consumer side, over 70 per cent of the company’s consumers globally are female.

Unilever said that it will ensure parents taking primary carers leave can continue accruing superannuation and building a long term financial security plan, easing the burden on the public pension system. The policy also includes three weeks of fully paid secondary carers leave.

“The development and inclusion of half the world’s total talent pool has vast bearings on growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses. Leadership and accountability from the top are essential if real progress is to be made on closing the gap, which is why we remain committed to building a balanced and inclusive organisation,” Unilever Australia and New Zealand CEO Clive Stiff said.

Unilever Australia was recently named an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for a second consecutive year. The FMCG giant recently achieved pay parity in Australia and New Zealand, but Stiff said they “must work to fiercely protect this”.

“We continue to focus on improving our gender balance in key areas of our business such as supply chain, sales and our local executive leadership team. One way we are addressing gender balance is through declaring ‘all roles flexible’ to enable our people to balance their personal commitments and work in a way that meets both their needs and the needs of the business. This is important as it allows women to continue advancing in positions of increasing responsibility which previously were unavailable to them given their particular caring needs,” said Stiff.

The company wants to normalise flexible working for men which it believes is key to managing caring responsibilities and empowering women.

Unilever’s Male Champions of Change program also empowers men in positions of influence, stepping up alongside women to drive systemic change, by implementing practical actions to create a gender equal future.

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