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IAG announces new parental leave benefits & flexible working accolade

01 March 2022

It's important that our people feel supported as they begin their parenting journey.

IAG New Zealand has announced the launch of a new parental leave benefits package that aims to support new parents to balance their careers with caring responsibilities.

The gender-neutral package includes 14 weeks of paid leave at full pay for the primary caregiver, in addition to the current Government paid leave allowance of 26 weeks. Secondary carers will receive three weeks’ leave at full pay, in addition to a further unpaid five weeks’ leave.

Currently when an employee goes on parental leave, the KiwiSaver employer contributions cease, so another unique feature of this package includes a 3% KiwiSaver contribution for up to the full 12 months of their parental leave entitlement. This excludes the period where employees are taking primary carer leave, as usual KiwiSaver contributions apply.

Amanda Whiting, Chief Executive IAG New Zealand says, “I feel really privileged to be announcing these new parental leave benefits that we’re introducing across New Zealand to better support our teams and their whānau.  It’s something that’s close to my heart as I’ve lived the juggle of parenting while building a career and I know how difficult it can be at times. 

“It’s important that our people feel supported as they begin their parenting journey. Becoming a parent, including through surrogacy or adoption, is exciting and wonderful, but can also be a time of financial stress. We hope that through this package, our people will be provided with the flexibility and support they need to manage this significant time in their lives.

“When we were designing these leave benefits, we were conscious that we wanted to create a set of benefits that were flexible and adaptable to each of our employee’s unique situations.”

“Having gender-neutral parental leave benefits are a small way we’re helping to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. It enables the parents, not the organisation or government, to choose who the primary caregiver will be during the first twelve months of a baby being born.”

The new package further strengthens IAG’s industry-leading approach to ways of working, with flexible and off-site working already well embedded in the organisation.

New Zealand’s first FlexReady (Level 4) employer

IAG’s leadership in flexible working was recently recognised with a FlexReady certification by Flex Careers. IAG is the only company in New Zealand to be awarded Level 4 certification.

“It’s clear that work is no longer a traditional 9-5 arrangement,” says Mrs Whiting.

“There are so many benefits of having a flexible and dynamic approach to the way we work, which is why we provide our people with a range of options like flexible hours, job sharing, secondments, and career breaks. Many people want or need to work differently, and while this is particularly helpful for our working parents, it’s just as valuable for everyone right across the company, whether they care for an elderly relative or have community or volunteer obligations.”

IAG’s parental leave benefits and flexible working are key parts of the wrap-around caregiver support on offer for IAG employees, complementing the newly launched ‘Circle In’, a digital platform offering support, resources, stories, and expert advice for carers.

The platform not only offers information for new parents, such as advice on returning to work after parental leave and negotiating work hours, but even includes a search engine for local childcare services, such as after school care and nannies.

“Being a caregiver doesn’t stop once people come back to work after parental leave,” says Mrs Whiting.

“We want our people to know they have our support, whatever stage of life they’re at. For us, taking parental leave or moving to flexi-time is absolutely part of everyday life at IAG.”

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