The push for fairer parental leave entitlements in Australia is gaining momentum with ING becoming the first bank to give either parent access to 14 weeks paid parental leave.
It comes after new research commissioned by the bank showed most Australians (76%) believe both parents or caregivers should be entitled to the same amount of leave after welcoming a child.
The survey, of more than 1000 Australians, also showed 75% of parents feel they need more than two weeks leave after the arrival of a newborn.
It also raises the discussion around the changing nature of the workforce as well as the shift away from the “old-fashioned” roles in the home.
Last year, health insurer Medibank Private introduced a similar policy, offering 14 weeks of paid leave in the first two years of a baby’s life.
Parenting expert and father of six, Dr. Justin Coulson, welcomed the news.
“The first few years in a newborn’s life are paramount for both parents when forming a close attachment with their child,” he said.
“It’s the time when we see them grow, recognise their unique quirks and ultimately develop an everlasting connection.
“As a working father, I understand the conflict between career and parenting commitments, particularly when there are financial pressures involved.”
The research also found:
- 69% believe that the terms ‘primary caregiver’ and ‘secondary caregiver’ promote unequal levels of caregiving work in families
- Parents revealed that they would feel more comfortable taking time off work should their workplace embrace parental equality (59%)
- Top worries for parents were financial strain (49%), fatigue (42%) and balancing work with caregiving (33%)
- 58% of mums agree that having a baby would impact their career, while this is only true for 1 in 3 dads (34%)
- 39% of secondary caregivers stated that they would not feel completely comfortable asking for paid parental leave.