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News & Analysis

Fintech Australia says the sector should set a minimum benchmark for paid parental leave of 12 weeks

- September 16, 2021 2 MIN READ
Parent, baby
Photo: AdobeStock
FinTech Australia has released an industry policy featuring guidance after consulting with the sector, setting out best practice for parental leave entitlements.

The policy says employers should offer 12-week paid parental leave at full pay, including superannuation, with partners entitled to two weeks parental leave at full pay.

Under the Fair Work Act, employees (including regular casual employees) who’ve been with a company for at least 12 months can take unpaid parental leave with a return to work guarantee when they or their partner are to give birth or adopt a child.

The government-funded Parental Leave Pay (PLP) program covers working parents at the national minimum wage for up to 18 weeks.

FinTech Australia CEO Rebecca Schot Guppy said her organisation’s policy was a first by a peak body in Australia’s startup ecosystem.

“With the fintech industry growing at a rapid pace, we felt it was crucial to create a benchmark for early-stage companies to plan towards when hiring talent and scaling their business,” she said.

“We also want to give talent joining the fintech ecosystem certainty that there are standards in place and dispel the idea that earlier stage companies can’t offer secure work and reasonable entitlements to their employees.”

In line with Commonwealth law, the policy says employers should allow for 12 months unpaid carers leave without breaking employment following birth. Partners are entitled to eight weeks unpaid leave, and up to 12 months in total between partners if they are working with their partner in the same business.

The policy also says employers should provide employees with a $2000 return to work bonus for new parents.

Employees who experience a miscarriage and stillbirth are also entitled to paid personal leave. The policy is on FinTech Australia website.

The policy comes as many startups look to set more attractive support policies for staff with families.

ASX-listed BNPL Zip offers primary carers 16 weeks of paid parental leave, while secondary carers receive four weeks of paid leave. Earlier this year, the fintech also announced it would offer two weeks of paid bereavement leave to parents including partners following the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks. One-in-four pregnancies end in miscarriage.