Gender Pay Gaps & Working Parents

This week WGEA released the first batch of gender pay gap data for private sector employers with 100 or more employees. There is so much more than just a headline number!

Here are 3 key data areas to look for on the WGEA data explorer if you’re interested in workplace equity and inclusion of working parents.

  1. Does the employer offer parental leave? If so, how much and is it universal (ie being offered equally to both parents)? This is important as it gives parents more choice over how they structure work and caring responsibilities, and promotes a model of shared care.
  2. Does the employer pay super on parental leave? Believe it or not, superannuation is not required to be paid on parental leave (even though it is on many other leave types). It is important to note the gendered impact here as women represent 86% of primary carer leave takers. Thankfully, 86% of employers that offer paid parental leave also pay super on it. But we can do better. I’d love to see super mandated on parental leave one day.
  3. Does the employer offer flexibility? What are the options? Do they have a policy? I believe having a policy is really important as it helps to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and consistently.

Employers, if you truly want to make a difference to the equity and inclusion of working parents then please consider not only how you compare to your industry and competitors, but how the choices you make around policy and benefits affect the working parent experience at your workplace.

Employees, this data won’t give you the full story, but it can provide some insights into how family friendly your current or potential future employers may be.