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August 1, 2019

Initiatives a workplace could take to support expecting parents

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Since starting at Nova Systems in 2017, I have experienced a huge amount of support and flexibility when it comes to juggling my family and a full time role. Late last year my partner and I decided to extend our family. Initially I had fears of going through pregnancy again whilst working full time and then the whole return to work process. Having never had a child before whilst working for Nova had me thinking, what will my employer be like when it comes to supporting pregnancy, parental leave and all the things that go along with it?

I opened up the Nova Systems Parental Leave Policy and was pleasantly surprised when I read it in more detail. Some benefits I will receive whilst on parental leave include;

  • 12 weeks of additional paid leave to complement and supplement the existing Government PPL Scheme. This may be taken at full pay or extended to 24 weeks at half pay.
  • Superannuation contributions for up to 52 weeks, plus if I choose to extend my maternity leave, Nova will make a bonus super payment for me if I return after another 52 weeks.
  • Continuous support with my professional development. Nova already gives all employees, no matter their role, a generous professional and personal development allowance each year along with additional study leave to help with this. I am able to utilise this allowance despite being on leave, and my manager has already given me support to complete a course of interest whilst being on leave for the next 12 months. I am also able to utilise a portion of this money to support health related activities – something I am sure will be handy post pregnancy.
  • Event attendance. Working at Nova is fun! They put on so much for us as employees and our families, and I will be encouraged to still attend these events whilst on parental leave. This means I still get to go to footy games, cooking classes, Christmas events plus whip out my safari suit or kaftan on occasion!

Returning to work after taking parental leave has been on my mind since the early months of pregnancy. I often think about what a workplace can do to support parents coming back to work. Some initiatives Nova takes right now are;

  • Breastfeeding facilities.
  • An additional 2 days of personal/carers leave each year.
  • Early discussions about return to work and flexible working arrangements. This is a huge one for me as I am a planner. I like to talk about things early on and have open, honest conversations about expectations. It gives me confidence that Nova is going to be able to support my return to work and the new arrangements I may need.

In addition to the above, during my pregnancy the flexibility and support I have received has been incredible. I have been able to utilise working from home when needed, flexibility with work hours to accommodate all of my prenatal appointments and in general a warm, friendly approach from my manager and peers when it comes to all things pregnancy related.

I am yet to experience returning to work at Nova post parental leave, but I have confidence that my employer will support me with my journey back to the workplace.

Emma Hill, National Talent Acquisition Specialist

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About the Author
WORK180 promotes organizational standards that raise the bar for women in the workplace. We only endorse employers that are committed to making real progress so that all women can expect better.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job.