Diageo launches one of Australia’s most progressive parental leave policies

  • Diageo to offer 26 weeks paid family leave to all employees
    • Policy will apply to all genders regardless of carer status

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    Diageo, one of the world’s leading drinks producers and parent company of iconic Queensland brand Bundaberg Rum, takes its ambition to create one of the world’s leading workforces on gender equality, diversity and inclusion one big step further with its announcement that from 1 July 2019 all Australian employees will be eligible to take 26 weeks paid family leave regardless of gender, carer status or length of service.

    Already a business that is leading the way on gender equality as one of 141 workplaces cited as an Employer of Choice by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for 2019, Diageo Australia also has no gender pay gap and its executive leadership and extended leadership group are both at gender parity.

    David Smith, Managing Director at Diageo Australia said: “This is a huge step forward in supporting our people and fostering greater inclusion and diversity for every Diageo Australia employee.

    “We’re moving the conversation on from ‘women having children’ to ‘people raising families’.

    “This is about removing barriers to career progression and ensuring talent is retained and nurtured. If these sorts of policies are more widely adopted in society, it can be a real game changer for shared responsibilities, getting women who want to, back into work earlier and giving men more time to enjoy the experience of being a new parent.”

    The new family leave policy will complement its recently launched flexible work philosophy that prioritises its people’s need for balance, well-being, opportunity and fulfilment.

    Libby Lyons, Director at Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) said: “Our data shows that access to employer-provided paid parental leave has not improved over the last five years. We need to change this and give proper choice to both female and male employees in Australian workplaces.

    “Access to parental leave helps women to stay in the workforce and progress their careers and helps men to be more involved in their family life and in raising their children. I congratulate Diageo for implementing their new parental leave scheme and I hope it encourages other Australian employers to follow suit.”

    WGEA data shows that in 2015-16, the average length of paid primary carers’ leave was just 10 weeks across all industries.

    Today’s announcement is part of a global roll-out of an ambitious new family leave policy announced overnight by Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes. Diageo hopes the policy will support employees to focus on the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work, and ensuring all employees are supported to have time with their new child regardless of where they live and work.

    Diageo’s commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse working environment has been recognised by the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index in 2019. In 2018 Diageo was named by Thomson Reuters as the 4th most inclusive and diverse company in the world.

    Diageo’s Executive Committee is 40 per cent women while its Board is 44 per cent women.

    /Public Release.