The NAB is giving dads 12 weeks off, paid, to be with new babies

Bondi Beach. Renee McKay/Getty Images

National Australia Bank is extending its 12 week paid parental leave to new dads and other non-birth parents.

Michaela Healey, NAB Group Executive, says research challenges traditional gender stereotypes.

“Every family is different, but the presumption that mothers are exclusively looking after the children and running the household is clearly out-dated in the modern family,” Healey says.

“Parenting is not a women’s issue, it is a parenting issue. Everyone has the right to a challenging and rewarding career – and a key part of supporting women to realise their potential lies in enabling men on the domestic front.

“We need to take gender out of the equation when it comes to flexibility at work, by extending the same conditions to men and creating a culture where they feel they can take them up.”

Under the federal government scheme, eligible employees who are the primary carer of a newborn or adopted child get 18 weeks leave paid at the national minimum wage.

An independent evaluation of the the scheme has found it has led to improved staff retention and better physical and mental health for new mothers.

NAB employees can now take paid primary carer’s leave anytime within the first twelve months of a child’s life.

Previously this leave was available only to the primary carer for 12 weeks on the birth or adoption of a new child.

According to a survey by the NAB, 60% of dads said they would like to spend more time with their children and 45% would like to play a greater role in caring for them.

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