Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) today announced it
was introducing the most generous and accessible parental
leave programme in the Australian financial services
industry, with 20 weeks parental leave at full pay.
In an industry first the programme comprises a 14 week
initial payment on the commencement of leave with a
"welcome back payment" which doubles employees'
pay for six weeks upon their return to work.
IAG's Managing Director and CEO, Mr Mike Wilkins, said
the programme was in response to feedback around the stresses
of combining paid employment and parenting, and 'welcome
back payments' aimed to help alleviate some of the
financial pressures women face when considering returning to
He said the proposal was driven by IAG's commitment to
attract and retain quality staff by creating a more family
friendly and diverse workplace.
"IAG is committed to creating a family friendly
workplace as companies that embrace diversity and flexibility
attract and retain high performing individuals and ultimately
perform better. As an organisation we are supporting our
people at a time when generally, they most need extra
financial support and more flexible work options," Mr
"The Group also has a goal of having one third of all
senior management positions filled by women by 2015 and I
think this will help us achieve that, by really ensuring we
are an employer of choice for mothers and families."
Its programme places IAG at the fore of Australian financial
services, with an industry average of around 13 weeks paid
The insurer said it had also addressed the issue of women
returning to work on their pre-leave salaries, having missed
out on pay increases enjoyed by their colleagues. Research by
the Australia Institute finds primary carers can expect to
earn about 4% less per hour on average than they would if
they did not have a child.
"IAG has also committed to hold remuneration reviews
with mothers who are absent from the workplace to ensure pay
remains fair and consistent with their colleagues whilst
still being based on merit and achievement," Mr Wilkins
"This is an innovative initiative we believe to be rare
among Australian employers and together with our generous
parental leave payments, I believe the programme will give
potential employees more reasons to consider IAG as an
employer and current employees incentive to stay with the
IAG's 20 week parental leave programme is on top of the
government's parental leave policy of up to 18 weeks
support and also offers secondary carers three weeks paid
This programme becomes effective for any of IAG's
Australian based employees taking parental leave from 16