GPT Group today announced that it had introduced a suite of new initiatives to deliver best practice parental leave, continuous superannuation payments, childcare support and flexible working.
It is another important step in ensuring GPT remains a leader in the property industry on issues of gender diversity and flexible working.
A key feature of GPT’s approach has been an industry first initiative to provide support to employees to meet the costs of childcare.
Chief Executive Women (CEW) has been very vocal on the importance of improving the affordability and accessibility of high quality child care as an enabler of higher female participation rates. The Federal Government has said that a 6 per cent improvement in female participation would bring us in line with Canada’s level, and increase Australia’s GDP by $25 billion.
President of CEW Diane Smith-Gander and CEW’s Chair of the Business Engagement Committee Meredith Hellicar wrote recently that improved access to quality childcare would increase workforce participation, boost economic capacity and create better educational, health & social outcomes for children.
As a leading Australian business GPT will be doing its part in encouraging women back into the workforce.
GPT’s new initiatives include:
- Introducing 16 weeks paid parental leave for all employees who are the primary carer for their baby.
- Primary carers receive up to $5,000 (net) towards the cost of childcare for their first 12 months back at work.
- Superannuation contributions to continue to be paid during periods of unpaid parental leave.
GPT also has a target to reach 40 per cent female representation in senior management positions by the end of the year and the policy is designed to support this approach by attracting and retaining the top female talent.
The Group has made significant progress lifting female representation in senior management, which is now 36 per cent, up 9 per cent over the past 18 months and on track to reach our target of 40 per cent senior female representation by the end of the year.
But achieving that level of gender equality at a point in time is one thing; the new policies are designed to support GPT’s unique culture and flexible working environment to ensure we can sustain gender equality not just in our time, but for all time.
Our approach to flexible working reaches well beyond new parents and those returning to work. We recognise flexibility is important for all employees, with opportunities to occasionally work from home or for primary care givers, to have special arrangements.
Our flexible approach to working is supported by sophisticated workplace technology and a culture that rewards employees on performance, not time spent behind a desk. You only have to look at the Group’s financial performance to see that this approach is working.
The changes to our benefits came into effect on 1 May.