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PepsiCo to boost paid parental leave from 12 to 16 weeks as government look to end ‘double dipping’

Food and drink giant PepsiCo will boost paid parental leave for employees in Australia and New Zealand from 12 to 16 weeks and double paid leave for carers from one to two weeks.
Nanjing Night Net

The company says its parental leave policy puts it well above the average of 9.7 weeks.

The decision follows the company receiving recognition from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an employer of choice for three consecutive years.



The federal government last year introduced proposed legislation to tighten access to its paid parental leave scheme for parents who were also accessing paid leave from their employer, to prevent “double dipping”.

The proposed legislation, which is currently before the national Parliament, proposes a maximum of 20 weeks made up of employer and government-funded entitlements. This means PepsiCo employees would likely be entitled to four weeks of government entitlements at the national minimum wage from January next year, if the legislation is passed. Under existing arrangements, they will still be able to claim the 16 weeks from PepsiCo in addition to the full national benefits.

PepsiCo ANZ chief executive officer Robbert Rietbroek​ said it was important for the company to champion workplace diversity and inclusion.

“Allowing our employees more flexibility will ensure they can enjoy a more fulfilling work-life balance,” he said.

“Smart businesses recognise that we need to support our people because they underpin our success.

“We are committed to our working families, and want gender equality in the boardroom and throughout our ranks and one of the ways to do this is ensuring that women and men are supported and come back to work after they become parents.”

The new policy will be available to all PepsiCo employees, including those who are already on leave.



Rae Cooper, associate professor in work and organisational studies at the University of Sydney Business School, said “progressive employers” have been bolstering paid parental leave and carers leave entitlements for their employees.

“They have either done this through policy change or enterprise agreements,” she said. “However, these entitlements provided by employers will be undermined if the current proposals of the government in relation to paid parental leave are passed.”

Dr Cooper said the dual system of national pay and employers providing additional leave is how the Australian Productivity Commission intended the scheme to operate.

PepsiCo senior director of human resources, Shiona Watson, said about 70 per cent of the company’s sales leadership team were female.

Women also fill more than 60 per cent of the research and development team and 40 per cent of senior roles across PepsiCo in Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Watson said increasing paid parental and carers leave would help attract and retain good talent.

“This policy is the logical next step in our constant drive to create a workplace that celebrates diversity and meets the needs of individual employees,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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