Hydro Tasmania launches progressive parental leave policy

Father cuddles new baby lovingly (parental leave)
Image: Shutterstock

Electricity generator Hydro Tasmania continues to support the needs of its workforce by launching a new, more equitable and progressive parental leave policy, plus a digital, employee-first benefits platform. 

Taking effect from July 1, 2022, the new policy provides access to 15 weeks of paid parental leave for all new parents, regardless of whether they are the ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ carer and regardless of whether the other parent is on parental leave at the same time. 

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In announcing the policy, Hydro Tasmania acting CEO Ian Brooksbank said the company was committed to supporting employees to successfully navigate their careers alongside their lives outside of work. 

“Hydro Tasmania is committed to providing support to parents playing an active role in caring for their newly born or adopted child or children,” Brooksbank said. 

“Hydro Tasmania understands that we have an important role to play in making it easier for all working parents to spend time caring for their children, and in shifting unnecessary and gendered attitudes that perpetuate inequality. 

“At Hydro Tasmania, we aim to create the conditions where parents don’t have to choose between parenting and having a career.” 

Hydro Tasmania cyber security operations lead Peter Esser is an expectant first-time father who is grateful for what the new parental policy means for his family. 

Hydro Tasmania Manager Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Lucy Aird; Hydro Tasmania Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ian Brooksbank; Hydro Tasmania Cyber Security Operations Lead (and expectant father) Peter Esser; and Hydro Tasmania Executive General Manager, People, Culture and Engagement, Ruth Groom

“As first-time parents, one of the biggest struggles was how we both manage balancing work and parenting in the first few months when we are trying to figure out what exactly is going on and how everything works,” he said. 

“Having the ability to spend those first few months together with our baby, learning how to be parents and figuring everything out without placing undue pressure on one of us or the other, or having to balance returning to work after a couple of short weeks with everything else going on, means a huge amount to my family. 

“We are extremely grateful to have this time together with each other and with our baby.” 

After committing to pay superannuation on unpaid parental leave in 2018, this is another step Hydro Tasmania has taken in supporting an inclusive culture for all working parents. 

The paid parental leave can be taken within the first two years of birth or adoption, including by surrogacy. 

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Other key aspects of the new policy include access to paid parental leave in the event that an employee’s pregnancy is miscarried within 20 weeks of the expected date of birth, or in instances of stillbirth, and a reduction in the length of continuous service required to access paid parental leave (from 12 months of continuous service to six months). 

Complementing the new parental leave policy is the introduction to all Hydro Tasmania staff of Circle In, a digital, employee-first benefits platform to support all stages of parenting and caregiving. 

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