INDEPENDENT NEWS

Is this NZ’s best-ever paid parental leave plan?

Published: Mon 21 Mar 2016 09:23 AM
Is this NZ’s best-ever paid parental leave plan?
Their goal is to become the best workplace in Australasia.
Now Cecilia Robinson - one of the Founders and Co-CEO of highly successful meal delivery business My Food Bag - is taking another giant step towards the goal.
My Food Bag has announced an extremely generous paid parental leave scheme that doubles the government’s 18 weeks of paid parental leave and provides an option for an additional 60 per cent of salary to be allocated to a spouse or partner.
My Food Bag’s new scheme comes in to effect from 1 April this year at the same time the government’s scheme increases from 16 to 18 weeks.
Co-founder Cecilia Robinson says she believes it’s the most generous parental leave she has heard of in New Zealand.
“I was brought up in Sweden and believe the only thing that is superior to New Zealand is the Swedish government’s parental leave plan,” Ms Robinson says.
“When we had our son Thomas I was appalled to realise that, at that time, there was only 14 weeks paid parental leave and I remember then thinking it was something I would like to change.”
Ms Robinson and husband James (also Founder and Co-CEO of My Food Bag) used to own a childcare business. They say one of the most heart breaking things they experienced was the lack of choice for many parents as to whether or not and how fast they returned to the work force.
She says women can find it a real struggle juggling school/childcare pick-ups and sick kids on their return to the workforce.
“As working parents, James and I intimately understand this struggle and for that reason we have never been ‘clock watchers’ here at My Food Bag. We want our team to achieve a balance where they feel they are succeeding both at home and in the work force.
“So, as part of our goal to become the best work place in Australasia we are continuing to lead the way. Part of this is we want to ensure that each and every one of our team members feel as if they have choice when it comes to their family and their career.
“It also means that a whole generation of MFB Kiwi kids have an option to spend their first nine months at home with 18 weeks paid by MFB and 18 weeks paid by the government,” Ms Robinson says.
“We believe that’s a fantastic outcome for future generations.”
The My Food Bag Parental Leave plan:
• Comes in to effect 1 April, 2016 for all children born to My Food Bag team members in 2016.
• My Food Bag is also backdating the scheme for four team members who had children in 2015. Up to 18 weeks fully paid parental leave.
• Team members can opt to allocate this leave at 60 per cent of their salary to their spouse
o For a period of up to 18 weeks team members are paid at 160 per cent of their salary and his or her partner has the option to stay at home caring for the child.
• Leave can be taken at any point up to the child’s 2nd birthday, giving parents maximum flexibility.
• My Food Bag is also giving all parents an additional six parental sick days per annum.
• It is also instituting flexible working arrangements for the first ‘Welcome back month’ for parents returning to work, including opting to work part-time.
• Full time team members become eligible after 12 months of employment.
• Part-time team members become eligible after 24 months of employment.
Further information about the New Zealand Government’s paid parental leave scheme can be found here: http://employment.govt.nz/er/holidaysandleave/parentalleave/
ENDS

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