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Why Konica Minolta chose to introduce a new parental leave policy



Workplace

By Loren Webb

Konica Minolta Australia, market-leading provider of integrated solutions and managed services, has announced its new parental leave policy aimed at creating a more equal and supportive environment for all parents in the workplace.

The policy takes several steps to achieve gender equality, recognising that both parents have an active and essential role in their children’s early years.

Key features of the policy include:

  • removal of the labels of primary and secondary carer to eliminate stereotypes
  • provision of 12 weeks’ paid parental leave to any parent welcoming a new child into the family, with leave available:
    o        until the child’s third birthday; or
    o        until the third anniversary of adoption, up to the adopted child’s sixteenth birthday.
  • leave can be taken in any way, or at any time that best suits the family, over the first three years.
  • new leave entitlements are available retrospectively.

David Cooke, Managing Director Australia, Konica Minolta, said, “Welcoming a new child into the family is one of the best times of any person’s life, and it is simply unfair for only one parent to have the benefit of 12 weeks paid leave to enjoy this time. We believe that separating parents into primary and secondary categories, which are so often allocated to women and men respectively, not only reinforces entrenched gender roles, but has the knock-on effects of men finding it more difficult to request parental leave, and women being apprehensive about returning to work due to career stagnation.

“Konica Minolta wants to eliminate discrimination and bias wherever possible, and this can be as simple as removing irrelevant titles and offering every employee the same benefits. Making parental leave non-gendered means that every new parent is offered the same opportunities for paid leave.”

Benton Johnson, business analyst, Konica Minolta Australia, said, “As a parent, knowing that I have support to take the time to spend with a newborn and support my partner is priceless. When my son was born I had five weeks off, which at the time was considered by many as a long time. This was a combination of annual and unpaid leave. With my daughter, who is now two, I wasn’t able to take as much time. With this new policy I can now plan some additional time with her. This is a fantastic policy change that will make a real difference for families.”

In September 2019, Konica Minolta Australia also released its 2019 Gender Equality Strategy, aimed at refocusing its commitment to equality in the workplace.

David Cooke said, “As a company that cares deeply about and strives for equality in everything we do, Konica Minolta believes that it’s our duty to adjust and adapt to the changing needs of our employees and the communities in which we operate, and to ensure we remain on the forefront of best practice.

“Our commitment to improving our practice and pushing hard to realise gender equality has resulted in three consecutive Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citations, as well as the 2018 Human Rights in Business Award from the Australian Human Rights Commission. We are extremely proud of, and humbled by, these recognitions, and are motivated to work even harder towards improving practice not only within Konica Minolta but within our industry.”


About Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia Pty Ltd is a market-leading provider of integrated solutions and managed services with the power to transform business environments.