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Unilever and L’Occitane revamp paid parental leave packages

Consumer goods giant Unilever has extended paid parental leave to 16 weeks, irrespective of gender in an effort to promote equal opportunities for parents.

The policy allows the primary care giver to return to work and ‘pass the baton’ to the other parent who would then receive full primary carer benefits.

 “Offering our employees the flexibility to choose how they parent is key to creating an equal workplace. The decision to return to work can be difficult – this change will mean that if a mother or other primary carer wishes to return to work within the first 52 weeks of their child’s life, their partner can become the child’s Primary Care Giver and benefit from an additional 16 weeks paid parental leave,” said Clive Stiff CEO of Unilever Australia & New Zealand.

“Some fathers are conscious of a stigma and bias around taking extended leave, especially when they are unable to see many of their male colleagues taking leave. As a leader, and a father myself, I see an opportunity to end this stigma and lead by example on these important issues.”

According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, just one in 20 Australian fathers take up primary parental leave.

Cosmetics group L’Occitane announced a minimum of 20 weeks’ fully paid leave for primary caregivers and is offering secondary caregivers a minimum of 12 weeks’ fully paid leaved. It will apply to employees worldwid, across offices, factories and owned retail stores. It will apply to adoption and surrogacy cases also.

‘Empowering women is a core value of L’Occitane. Our new, inclusive global parental leave is a major step forward in our ambitious programme towards gender parity within the Group, aiming to help employees to balance parenthood and career and increase diversity within teams, resulting in better business performance overall,” Armelle Saint-Raymond, L’Occitane Group Human Resources Vice-President, said.

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