Aurecon, a Diversity Agenda member, is breaking barriers and creating a more diverse and inclusive working environment with the launch of their new Shared Care policy.
In an industry first, the engineering, design and advisory company has taken a giant forward-thinking step, launching their new parental leave scheme, Shared Care. Its purpose is to create a supportive, non-discriminatory working environment, where both parents can balance family and career.
Shared Care provides financial incentive options during a child’s first year that support secondary carers stepping into a more active, primary carer role, including:
- Paid parental leave for 14 weeks
- Superannuation/KiwiSaver on paid portion, as well as 14 weeks of the unpaid portion, of parental leave
- If the Aurecon employee is returning to work and their partner is having to take unpaid leave to care for their child, Aurecon will pay 150% of the employees’ salary for up to 14 weeks
This makes it easier for primary carers to return to and stay in the workforce, while also improving career prospects and reducing the financial penalties that can come with extended leave. The policy is inclusive of all families, including same-sex relationships and available to birth, adoptive and foster parents.
Aurecon’s Environment and Planning Manager Whitney Adam recently took advantage of Shared Care and said the scheme made it possible for her husband to share child care responsibilities, and allowed him to spend special time with their child in that exciting first year.
“You wouldn’t expect that a spouse could benefit from your employer’s parental leave policies without being employed by them as well”Whitney Adam
Shared Care is designed to work in a range of ways to cater for individual circumstances such as the secondary carer working for Aurecon and the primary carer working elsewhere, the primary carer working at Aurecon and the secondary carer not, or both partners working at Aurecon.
Whitney revealed access to the scheme was easier than expected, especially given her partner is not an Aurecon employee.
“We felt supported by the Shared Care scheme, particularly as it took the financial strain out of the decision-making process when we were discussing sharing the responsibility of caring for our daughter. In fact, having that support helped to tip the scales in favour of him taking the time off to be the primary carer” said Whitney.
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