Bain & Company beefs up unpaid parental leave scheme

01 October 2019 3 min. read

Bain & Company has enhanced the attractiveness of its parental leave scheme in Australia by committing to higher superannuation contributions for those that miss out on their regular pension payments.

The American-origin strategy consulting firm, which has three offices in Australia (Melbourne, Perth and Sydney), already has a generous parental leave scheme in place. The firm provides 16 weeks of paid parental leave for the primary carer, and 8 weeks of paid parental leave for the secondary carer. Beyond financial support, Bain & Company has a parental support program in place for all its employees, including benefits such as the possibility to take up unpaid leave, a return to work plan and parental coaching. 

In a bid to take a front running role in the gender equality discussion, the consulting firm has now expanded its scheme with a superannuation contribution. Currently, Bainees are only eligible to receive superannuation contributions on the paid portion of primary parental leave, up to 16 weeks. Those on unpaid leave however receive no superannuation contributions, leaving them – in most cases women – behind with a pension gap. 

Bain & Company beefs up unpaid parental leave schemeStarting this month, Bain will cover the previously absent contributions for the unpaid portion of primary parental leave, in a move that the firm describes as a “primer” in Australia’s strategic management consulting market. “This investment by Bain can create a substantive difference in retirement savings. By making this decision, we are choosing to invest in our employees’ futures and to help lower the potential income gap that can result from taking unpaid parental leave,” said Peter Stumbles, since April this year the Managing Partner of Bain & Company in Australia. 

The move comes weeks after Bain’s Australian arm released an in-depth study on gender parity in the workplace, reconfirming what is commonly known:  discrepancies between male and female employees continue to exist. Women are underrepresented in management tiers, are across the board paid less for similar jobs and face a notoriously challenging ‘glass ceiling’ mid-their their career. 

According to Chio Verastegui, a partner with Bain & Company in Sydney, “organisations with greater diversity have greater retention, higher levels of employee advocacy, overall better performance and faster growth.” Striving for financial parity is one means of bridging the gender gap.

Stumbles said that he is delighted with the expanded scheme, adding that it demonstrates Bain’s drive to walk its own talk. “This initiative demonstrates Bain’s commitment to changing the future for women in the workplace. It is industry leading and we’re hoping others will follow suit.”

Bain & Company launched in Australia and New Zealand in 1989 and today has over 250 consultants and staff in the region. Globally the firm has approximately 10,000 employees.