More ANZ employees are staying at home for longer as their family’s primary caregiver since the bank announced it was extending parental leave last year.
In July 2018 ANZ committed to giving staff up to 26 weeks of paid parental leave, two years ahead of the Government’s legislative extension. Since then there has been a small increase in people taking parental leave but the average length of time taken has increased.
“We’re thrilled our people are taking advantage of the extended parental leave to be at home with their families,” says ANZ General Manager Talent and Culture Michelle Russell.
“In 2018 dads took an average of four-and-a-half months’ parental leave, up six weeks on 2017. At the same time 60 percent of mums who took parental leave took more than 12 months, up 14 percent on the previous year.”
Dave Gascoigne, Head of Digital Marketing at ANZ, recently returned from almost five months’ parental leave. His son, was five months old when Mr Gascoigne became his family’s primary caregiver so his wife could return to work.
“I remember feeling a bit nervous before staying at home full-time with three kids but it was the best thing I’ve ever done,” Mr Gascoigne says.
“I found sole parenting massively geared towards females. I’d hear about mums’ retreats and coffee groups, and I was always one of the only dads at the playground or school pick-ups.
“Fortunately, I made some great friends with some of the mums at school and learned we were all having similar parenting experiences.”
Mr Gascoigne acknowledges it’s not always practical for dads to be the primary caregiver but encourages those who can to take the opportunity.