Myer to offer paid paternity leave


Myer’s announcement today to give permanent workers paid parental leave is a clever employment relations move in the battle to attract and retain staff. This move will put Myer in a better position to attract more skilled employees and retaining those employees if they choose to have children. Such a scheme makes good sense particularly in a time of a skills shortage and labour shortage.

Myer will offer will offer employees 6 weeks paid leave, with the option to stretch it to 12 weeks on half pay.

The following are the views of various stakeholders in this issue:

  • Greg Travers, Myer spokesperson said, “While there is a cost involved in such an initiative, we see the benefits both in recognising our workforce and the importance of raising a family, while building the Myer brand as a preferred employer in the retail industry.”
  • Federal Status of Women Minister Tanya Plibersek said, “I really think this will make Myer an employer of choice for many people who are considering a career in retail.”
  • Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard said it was terrific to see such a move by a major company, which employs more than 10,000 permanent workers, 81 per cent of whom are female.
  • ACTU president Sharan Burrow said “Paid maternity leave should be standard across all workplaces, big and small, and the ACTU would like to see other workplaces following Myer’s example and a national employment standard that guarantees this important right for Australian workers,” she said.

Read the full report on this issue from National Nine News and consider the following qestions:

  1. What is paid paternity leave and when will Myer employees qualify for this leave?
  2. What does it mean to be an ’employer of choice’ and why will this move make Myer an employer of choice?
  3. Outline, in full, each of the arguments outlined in the article in support of paid paternity leave from the following stakeholders: government, union, employer.

At the same time, Aldi Supermarkets have also announced a paid maternity leave scheme, giving female employees 14 weeks off at half pay.

Read more about the Myer and Aldi leave schemes in The Age, 28 March, 2008.


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