As Australian companies grapple with talent shortage, Caltex launched on Wednesday a babycare package which offers a 12 per cent bonus package for employees who return to their jobs and stay with the firm until their child turns two.
Caltex offered the package due to its finding that a high proportion of the company's female employees do not return to their jobs after childbirth. The Caltex offer covers both male and female parents, whoever is the primary carer for the newborn.
Caltex will likewise have breastfeeding rooms and even help the parents find childcare providers.
Caltex Chairman Elizabeth Bryan said the offers aims to retain skilled workers and help them better manage their work and personal lives. At the same time, it would help the company save since it costs firms up to twice a worker's yearly pay to recruit and train replacement employees for every staff who resigns, research by the Australian Human Resources Institute estimated.
Among those who will initially benefit from the package is Celina Cross, chief procurement officer of the oil and gas firm. Ms Cross's first baby is due to November, after which she will return to work for just two to three days a week until the infant reaches seven months. She said is not worried about returning to work, rather about the pain caused by labour.
Besides Caltex, many Australian universities have return-to-work packages such as Melbourne University which has a 12-week salary offer. Up to 20 per cent pay increase is offered by Shine Lawyers to employees who return to work on top of 18 weeks maternity leave. Insurance Australia Group dangles a 20-week parental leave at full pay made up of 14 weeks' salary and six weeks welcome back payment.
Other companies have different ways of addressing the talent shortage after childbirth through offer of flexible hours, paying for childcare and construction of onsite childcare units.
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