Woolworths offers staff super on parental leave

Woolworths Group has revealed a revamped policy entitling employees to superannuation contributions when taking parental leave for up to 12 months.

Over half of the group’s team members are female, with almost 5000 taking parental leave each year across Woolworths, Big W, Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Cellarmasters, and Langtons.

“We don’t believe they should be disadvantaged in retirement for doing so,” Woolworths Group chief people officer Caryn Katsikogianis said.

“We know Australian women are retiring with a lot less super than men. As one of the country’s largest private employers we want to play our part in closing the gap.”

The new parental leave entitlements also offer increased paid parental leave for primary caregivers, personalised coaching and a parental leave support program designed to empower expectant and working parents navigate family and career as well as assist with the transition back to work.

“These improvements for Woolworths employees [are] a crucial step towards closing the unfair gender pay gap,” SDA national assistant secretary Julia Fox said.

“The SDA has long advocated for super payments to be paid on parental leave, both paid and unpaid, because it helps provide a fairer superannuation system for women working at Woolworths who deserve security and dignity in retirement.”

Rest chief executive Vicki Doyle also welcomed the announcement, noting that the super-fund has been a long-term advocate for measures to assist women’s financial security in retirement.

“We know from Rest research into the impact of career breaks on superannuation, that women who take a career break are predicted to retire with an average superannuation balance of $283,000 less than their male counterparts,” Doyle said.

“We believe this important measure will help improve the retirement outcomes for thousands of women.”

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