Leilani Abels (MD) with son, Rafa, Danica Conolly (Office Manager) with youngest daughter Starla, and Kelly Stambanis (GM) with sons
Leading independent AU/NZ PR agency, Thrive, breaks new ground for working parents and calls upon the government to reform Australia’s childcare system
– Paid childcare, Paid parental leave, Prenatal parking –
1 July 2016: Leading independent AU/NZ PR agency, Thrive, has revealed its groundbreaking policies for parents in the workplace in an effort to call upon the government to reform the childcare system, after this weekend’s election.
Thrive’s policies include:
- Two months paid parental leave at full pay in addition to the government’s 18 week paid parental leave scheme
- Access to paid childcare funding to cover childcare costs up to $150 per day
- Parking near-premise for mums-to-be in their third trimester of pregnancy
In addition, the company throughout its sixteen year history has delivered:
- Flexible appointment scheduling for pre-natal parents to allow for additional doctor visits plus additional time out of the office for parents on IVF programs
- Flexible return to work times for new parents – there is no strict “12 months return” policy…jobs are left open and most mothers return to work within six months
- Flexible working hours to juggle school commitments like assembly and important occasions like sports days
- Willingness to casually accommodate children in the workplace if childcare is unavailable
“Thrive is a workplace that recognises the importance of working parents. We are doing everything possible from a culture and financial perspective to get more women returning to rewarding careers at Thrive and to help them transition back into the workplace,” Thrive founder and MD, Leilani Abels said.
“Thrive values working parents. Our policies demonstrate that we care and understand the unique pressures of working parents,” said Abels, mother to a one year old son.
Thrive management however, has been flabbergasted at the tax implications and complexities of introducing these policies and the company argues that the government needs to introduce substantial reforms.
“Thrive’s parenting policies currently incur FBT (fringe benefits tax) and there are no rebates when a business pays for childcare. It is a costly exercise, and when you are not a major corporation, it is a significant investment. There are no government incentives for a business to support parents and in fact, we are penalised and taxed. The current system discourages businesses to invest in working parents – in women who are important to our economy and Australia’s future – and that needs to change,” says Abels.
Thrive’s longest standing employee, Kelly Stambanis who has been with the company for sixteen years and who is General Manager of the Melbourne office, works a flexi-time schedule and has had three children whilst employed at Thrive.