Suncorp boosts maternity leave as new weapon in the ‘race for talent’

Suncorp has substantially upgraded its maternity leave provisions to 20 weeks’ leave as a new survey points out that employers have to find new ways to retain staff as about 20 per cent were found to be looking for another job.

Aug 19, 2022, updated Aug 19, 2022
Suncorp worker Bridget Dixon

Suncorp worker Bridget Dixon

The NAB survey said Covid had fundamentally changed workplace conditions and expectations, particularly in relation to flexibility.

It found 20 per cent of people were considering quitting their job and the highest levels were in agriculture and mining with younger workers more likely to be keen to shift.

That number of people considering a move has fallen from 22 per cent in May and NAB also tracked a increased number of people who had no intention of quitting.

Pay was not the biggest reason for wanting to leave. The top two reasons were a lack of personal fulfillment and a lack of career growth, but there were also many who wanted a fresh start.

Large numbers of workers also wanted more time at home and the biggest hurdle to returning to the office was the daily commute. About 30 per cent said traffic and the lack of time for exercise and other activities was a key reason for not wanting to return to the office. The cost of parking was also an issue

“Overall, working Australians were currently spending 34 per cent of their week working from home, but ideally would like to be spending 48 per cent of their week at home,” the report said.

Commute times had a particularly significant impact in Queensland where 38 per cent of workers were affected by it.

NAB executive for business metro Michael Saadie said employers had to look at different ways to attract and retain talent and that could mean new types of leave, wellbeing initiatives, or learning and development.

“We continue to hear from small and medium businesses about the difficulty in hiring the right talent to keep their business growing as quickly as they want,” Saadie said.

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From next month, Suncorp’s Australia-based employees would get an additional four week’s of paid, primary carer parental leave, an increase from the current 16 weeks.

There would be an additional one week of paid secondary carer parental leave bringing that to four weeks.

Employees would also become entitled to leave once they started the job. Previously, entitlement came after completing the probation period.

Suncorp quoted employee Bridget Dixon, who was taking parental leave in September, saying that anything to relieve the stress on parents was welcomed.

“Being a parent and bringing a child into this world is an important job and parental leave is no vacation,” she said.


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