PwC, EY and Deloitte in the top 20 best workplaces for new Australian dads

04 July 2018 5 min. read

In an attempt to bring to light the changing landscape in Australian family life and exemplify leaders and innovators in the business field, website Direct Advice for Dads has ranked the best workplaces in Australia for new fathers. PwC was fifth on the list of 20 with EY and Deloitte making an appearance. 

The traditional role of working fathers and stay-at-home mothers is disintegrating into a blend of flexible work lifestyles for both parents. Fathers are becoming more involved in the upbringing of children whilst striving for a more adequate work/life ratio to do so. The balance that a workplace offers has a distinctive impact on itsability to attract and retain talent, especially in regards to new dads.

A new study by Direct Advice for Dads – the first of its kind in Australia – identifies 20 workplaces which set the bar for the parental leave entitlements and flexible work practices for new fathers. The criteria to appear on the list included a minimum of two weeks paid secondary carer’s leave, 12 weeks paid primary carer’s leave,and the ability for men to take over from their partner in a move the website called ‘passing the baton’. 

Only 44 workplaces in the entire country were able to meet all of these points of reference and of them a list of 20 was compiled. “They were then judged on their length of paid primary carer’s leave, flexible work policies, leave uptake rates among dads, childcare, and parenting workshops to attain our final top 20.” 

The top four spots on the list were taken by health insurer Medibank, construction firm Mirvac, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Featured on the list were also three of the Big 4 accounting and consulting firms, PwCEY and Deloitte.

PwC, EY and Deloitte named in the top 5 best workplaces for new Australian dads

Number 5: PwC

Professional services and consulting firm PwC rounded off the top 5 with its 18 weeks of paid primary carer’s leave and 3 weeks of paid secondary carer’s leave. The firm allows its employees to access these benefits from day one with the company and was awarded fifth spot due to its outstanding level of flexibility. 

One part of their leave scheme which is a primary driver for the firm’s placing was that new parents could access their leave sporadically or in a single block. The firm also promotes family-friendly flexibility and encourages men to access the primary carer’s leave even after they have utilised the secondary carer’s leave.

One of PwC’s employees, Jack Bell, accessed the firm’s primary carers leave upon becoming a new dad and commented on how well the policy was promoted within the company. “The first five people you speak to when you tell them you’re having a baby will always say ‘make sure you take the parental leave’,” Mr Bell said. “It’s not something that’s hidden in the fine print. It’s out there and it’s definitely encouraged at all levels.”

PwC also commented on twitter that they were proud about the amount of men who accessed paid primary carer’s leave. “Proud to be named in the top 5 workplaces for dads! About half of eligible PwC dads avail themselves of primary carer's leave, which is exceptional.”

Number 8: EY 

EY also offers flexibility in the way in which their parental leave is accessed in either part-time or full-time periods. The firm offers its employees a gender-neutral primary/secondary leave family scheme where all labels are removed. Included in the scheme are 14 weeks of primary carer’s leave and 3 weeks of secondary carer’s leave.  

The professional services firm also has a number of in-house programmes and policies that create a family-friendly workplace. Most notably the firm leads by example, ensuring that EY leaders are visible role models for flexible working whilst holding leaders accountable for improving workplace flexibility. They also offer new parents ‘Grace Papers’, counselling and mentoring to help them through the parenting journey. 

A senior EY legal counsel, Scott Freeman, who accessed his parental leave part time commented: “My wife and I looked at a number of options and decided this was the best way forward for us,” Freeman said. “Our concern was that we would be putting our child in full time day care. But with my wife returning to work four days a week and me taking part time parental leave, our daughter Poppy will only be in care two days a week.”

Number 11: Deloitte 

Deloitte Australia offer 18 weeks of paid primary carer’s leave and 2 weeks of paid secondary carer’s leave. The professional services firm allows its employees to take primary care flexibly which has driven an uptake of more dads accessing the scheme. In addition, the firm has also adopted multiple initiatives which “seek to drive cultural change in employees adopting flexible work arrangements to manage family commitments.”

The firm has worked hard in its effort to ensure gender parity and encourage fathers to take primary carer’s leave. The firm’s CEO, Cindy Hook, made an example of this at the 2018 Deloitte State of the Nation conference where she invited three men to the stage, two who had taken the primary carer’s leave and one who had been pressured out of it by his peers.

"I am putting three Deloitte dads on stage. Two who elected to take paternity leave and one who was talked out of taking paternity leave – he was told his career would go bad – and to this day, he regrets it.” Hook considers taking the leave as a fundamental way to increase gender equality and pay parity in the workplace. 

"It is time for Dad Champions of Change who will proudly say 'I'm raising my children – not just economically – but I am picking them up and dropping them to school'," she said. “The more fathers get involved with their children at a young age, the more involved they will be the whole way through and that will free more women up.”