NAB is the first major bank, and believed to be the first major Australian employer, to recognise up to 40 weeks of unpaid primary carers leave for long service leave purposes.
All NAB employees in Australia will now be able to take long service leave after ten years’ continuous service, regardless of whether they take time off to care for children.
The entitlement is included in NAB’s 2014 Enterprise Agreement, which was developed in consultation with the Financial Services Union and has now been ratified by NAB employees.
Michaela Healey, NAB Group Executive for People, Communications & Governance says NAB has a track record in working to improve gender equity through employment conditions.
“This decision will ensure that NAB parents, particularly mums, aren’t penalised in the workplace for having children, or taking time off to care for them.
“We also offer paid superannuation on unpaid parental leave – and this is the next logical step towards aligning entitlements for those who choose to have a family,” she said.
Lisa Annese, CEO of Diversity Council of Australia: “I congratulate NAB on this initiative that will help address the significant gap in entitlements that many carers experience as a result of taking unpaid primary carer’s leave – and the majority of these are of course women.
“I hope other employers will follow their lead,” she said.
NAB is the only major bank to have conducted a gender pay equity audit, in conjunction with the Financial Services Union (FSU), to investigate possible causes or barriers to equal pay.
It has also committed to introducing remuneration reviews for all employees returning from parental leave.
“We’re committed to creating a workforce where women are able to grow their careers and that also supports their personal and family life.
“We also support flexibility and offer career break leave, where employees can take up to 12 months’ unpaid leave to use for personal reasons such as travel or study,” said Michaela.
In 2013, 80 per of NAB employees who took paid parental leave chose to return to work.
NAB was also the first major bank to introduce a Domestic Violence Support Policy – an issue which affects one in three women at some point in their lives, two thirds of which are in paid work.
NAB has committed to increasing the number of women in the top three layers of the
organisation from 23% to 33% by 2015.
The NAB 2014 Enterprise Agreement will take effect following approval by Fair Work
Commission (FWA) and will expire on 31 March 2016.
The Agreement also provides a remuneration increase for Level 1 & 2 employees (those in support and operational roles) of up to 4 per cent – 2 per cent, plus an additional 2 per cent for all employees whose performance outcome is meeting or exceeding expectations.