SJB sets new industry benchmark in parental leave

July 2018

SJB Architects, Sydney is proud to launch its new shared care Parental Leave Policy and Flexible Working program, achieving a new benchmark in the architecture industry.

Read the Architecture Australia feature here

“We’re committed to supporting our staff as they navigate achieving balance in their lives,” explains Adam Haddow, SJB Director and a foundation member of the AIA NSW Chapter’s Male Champions of Change.

After workshopping parental leave models with the leadership group, a driving principle emerged. To create capacity for women to have more meaningful careers, men must be encouraged to increase their caring responsibilities.

The resulting SJB Parental Leave Policy promoting shared care is leading the way for the architecture industry in Australia. 

Under the policy, any new parent is offered 10 weeks leave at full pay, irrespective of their carer status. In recognition of the impact of caring responsibilities on retirement savings, particularly for women, SJB offers superannuation contributions for up to 12 months for the initial primary carer. A Working Parent ChildcareSupport Allowance is also available for both parents for up to 12 months when they return to work.

“Recognising the diversity in modern families, we are making our Parental Leave Policy as flexible as possible, so new parents can use their leave in a way that achieves an optimal balance between their career and caring responsibilities,” says Haddow.

SJB is taking the long view in supporting its employees’ careers by ensuring that working parents can tailor working preferences within a Flexible Working program. 

“Offering generous parental leave is great, however, if a business doesn’t have flexible working options and a culture that truly supports flexible working when parents return to work, the positive impact to careers is limited,” continues Haddow.

Flexible working at SJB isn’t just for working parents.  The program is available to everyone and can be for any reason that is meaningful to that individual.

“Having open conversations with staff and viewing flexibility as a shared responsibility is key to its success,” says Haddow.

Being able to manage the diverse needs of employees with greater flexibility positions SJB as a leader in an industry currently working hard to address equality.  

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