Australia’s leading social impact architectural firm, Billard Leece Partnership (BLP), has launched its new parental leave policy that offers up to 14 weeks of leave at full-pay for both primary and secondary carers along with other industry-leading benefits.
“We researched the market to assess what industry best-practice looked like, but we knew we wanted to do more than simply meet the standard,” says Tara Veldman, BLP Managing Director and Principal. “From workshops with our team, we’ve upscaled the policy to include provisions that feel unique to BLP, that reflect our diverse, multi-generational workplace and the lives of our people outside the studios.”
The policy has been designed to support equity and flexibility for families, with benefits available to all employees irrespective of their primary or secondary carer role. It also addresses the retirement savings gap that is chronically impacting women, with superannuation contributions paid for up to 36 weeks.
“We understand the importance of balanced parental responsibility in the family unit to break down gender stereotypes,” Veldman says. “That’s why we are proud to provide equal opportunities for every new parent at BLP, so our people can play an active role both while at home and in the workplace.”
In a possibly industry-first move, BLP has included a special allowance for grandparents, offering two days of paid leave to recognise the important role they play in supporting growing families.
The package includes a childcare allowance for the first six months on return to work and an opt-in buddy system, with the opportunity to stay connected to the business and help support a smooth transition after a period of extended leave.
“Designing for a healthy world is at the heart of what we do. BLP is committed to empowering our people with more choice, greater security, and better support when embarking on the life-changing journey of parenthood.”
Effective immediately, the new policy includes the following benefits:
- Up to 14 weeks paid parental leave in addition to the Government Parental Leave Scheme
- Flexible terms: full pay for up to 14 weeks or half pay for up to 28 weeks
- Superannuation paid for up to 36 weeks
- Childcare allowance for first six months
- Paid grandparents paid leave of up to two days
- Paid stillbirth leave of up to 14 weeks
- Opt-in buddy program for ongoing connection and smooth return to workplace
The Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme will increase to 20 weeks from 1 July 2023.