Deloitte named Australia's top employer for fathers

12 December 2019 4 min. read

Global accounting and consulting firm Deloitte has been named Australia’s top employer for fathers, in a list compiled by Direct Advice for Dads (DAD). Deloitte Australia made a considerable jump from 11th place last year, while Big Four rivals PwC and EY have seen their performance deteriorate.

For its 20 Best Australian Wokplaces for New Dads list, the researchers looked at a set of four criteria. A minimum of two weeks’ paid leave as a secondary carer; a minimum of 12 weeks if the dad is the primary carer; flexible arrangements to allow dads more time with childcare; and a 12 month period following the birth of a child when the dad can apply for leave at any point if the partner requires it.

Last year, the consulting sector – particularly the Big Four – did considerably well on DAD’s top 20 list, with PwC, EY and Deloitte ranking in 5th, 8th and 11th respectively. This year however, Deloitte has overtaken its competitors to scoop first position overall, mainly thanks to due to several new policies introduced by the firm in the past twelve months.

In August last year, Deloitte hosted a Dad’s photography exhibition at the Opera House, with the specific objective of raising awareness about the growing role of dads in childcare. The firm further issued a call to action across the business environment to allow new dads to take parental leave when required.

Deloitte named Australia's top employer for fathers

Where DAD looks out for a minimum of 12 weeks for new primary care-givers, Deloitte Australia has introduced 18 weeks of paid leave for all new parents, available over a three-year period after a child is born. The professional services firm reports that parental leave amongst men has increased by 128% since it introduced the new policy.

Commenting on these efforts, Margaret Dreyer, Deloitte Australia’s National Lead Partner for Diversity & Wellbeing said, “At Deloitte, we’re committed to inclusion in all its forms, including achieving gender equality in the workplace. We know that one powerful and effective way we can do this is by supporting our people with family caring responsibilities, regardless of their gender.”

“We’ve made it clear that our policy is for all types of families including birth, adoptive, surrogate, foster and same-sex parents, as well as intentionally calling out to our Deloitte dads to encourage them to take extended parental leave. The removal of the primary and secondary carer labels in our policy helped immensely to remove the misconception that parental leave was only for women. We simply call it ‘parental leave’ and it’s available to both parents, regardless of gender or caring role,” she added.

Richard Deutsch, the CEO of Deloitte Australia, added, “We’re also trying to shape best practice in Australia. If businesses like Deloitte can help push these things in the right direction, then we believe the business community and society as a whole will be better off.”

PwC and EY, meanwhile, fell considerably down the list, ranking 15th and 18th respectively this year, despite also introducing a number of pro-dad measures. PwC, for instance, has extended its parental leave package to include situations of adoption, surrogacy, foster care, kinship care and still birth, but, the firm is criticized by DAD for still operating with the labels of primary and secondary care-giver. EY similarly differentiates a primary and secondary caregiver within its parental leave policy.

In related news, in October consultancy Bain & Company beefed up its unpaid parental leave scheme.