Parents & Carers at Herbert Smith Freehills
In March 2022, we made several changes to our parental leave policy including:
- Extending paid parental leave offering from 18 weeks to 26 weeks and pay superannuation on both paid and unpaid parental leave up to 52 weeks.
- Reducing the eligibility criteria for paid parental leave from 12 months of continuous service to 6 months.
- Anyone who suffers a pregnancy loss after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy will also be eligible for 26 weeks of paid parental leave.
- Additional paid leave for people and their partners undergoing fertility treatment or surrogacy
- We continue to have no distinction between primary and secondary carers meaning the parental leave policy is available to all eligible parents.
Recognising that everyone has a different journey to parenthood and different needs in regards to parental leave, we also announced a number of ways in which we will support people during parental leave and importantly, upon their return.
This includes a personalised return plan that supports returning parents in managing work, career progression and family commitments. Plans will be tailored to suit individual requirements but could include a change in the type of work, overall workload and flexibility in when, how and where work is done. For lawyers, their plan might also include a reduction in the expected number of chargeable hours.
"We are committed to investing in our people and supporting them through their most important career and life milestones. These changes will empower our people to excel while balancing their vital roles outside the firm. We believe that paying superannuation on the unpaid portion of parental leave is an important step to address the significant gender pay gap that exists in Australia today.”
Andrew Pike, Executive Partner, Australia