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Employee Leave Matters

May 11, 2015
On occasion, an employee’s personal life can completely overwhelm their professional life. Some examples of this include dealing with the loss of a loved one, taking care of a sick relative and welcoming a child into the family. In these circumstances, the best thing an employer can do is offer support. There are several leave programs in Australia designed to address these very issues. Parental leave, in particular, has become a talking point recently in several countries, particularly the U.S. where no parental leave of any kind is afforded by law. In Australia, parental leave is applicable to both male and female parents who have worked for their employer for a minimum of 12 months prior to the expected date of birth or adoption. These employees are guaranteed 12 months of unpaid parental leave. Many employers also offer a period of paid parental leave to staff members, though this is more common in European countries. Isn’t this just a giant hassle for an employer? No. There are several reasons why parental leave is important for a business. First, guaranteed time off can alleviate a great deal of stress on employees and, as we’ve discussed before, stress can adversely affect an employee’s work quality and productivity level. Additionally, parental leave has been shown, in numerous studies, to have nothing but positive effects for a family, providing sufficient bonding time between parents and children and likely easing a parent’s return to work. Leave laws are important to employees and, as such, should be important to business owners. Desirable parental leave policies can attract better, hard-working employees as well. Think of them not as policies that could potentially harm a business, but as just another part of a benefits package that will help attract and build a top notch, loyal team of employees.
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