THERE’S an elephant in the room at Tabcorp and they couldn’t be prouder of that fact.
In order to better assist staff –both male and female — who are grieving a miscarriage or facing fertility struggles, the gambling entertainment group has partnered with one of Australia’s leading support services for early pregnancy loss, Pink Elephants.
According to Pink Elephants’ statistics, one in three Australian pregnancies typically ends in a loss. Given those numbers, chances are someone you know — a friend, sister, parent or work colleague — has experienced this heartbreak.
And yet, Pink Elephants founder Samantha Payne says, miscarriage remains an uncomfortable topic for many.
“People don’t know what to say and so they say nothing,” she says.
“That silence can be very isolating for those who are grieving the loss of a pregnancy. And it is grief. Simply being able to take bereavement leave instead of sick leave when you have experienced a miscarriage validates the loss that you have experienced.”
Samantha says: “Tabcorp adopting our Fertility in the Workplace support program will make a huge difference to this issue by providing information, resources and support to staff who face this painful time”.
It also allows Tabcorp employees to access bereavement leave to grieve for the baby they have lost.
She says these pioneering policy changes will provide support to staff who may have otherwise felt they had to suffer in silence. It will also help managers and colleagues feel better equipped to help someone going through this experience.
The Fertility in the Workplace Support program is just one of the ways that Tabcorp has amended its leave policies to better cater to the needs of Australian families.
As such, it’s not just pregnant women who qualify for 18 weeks of paid parental leave.
Any primary carer – male or female – qualifies for the time off to care for their new arrival. Secondary carers get six weeks of paid leave.
Tabcorp also provides carer’s leave to those who are expecting a baby through a surrogacy agreement, to foster carers and adoptive parents.
Tabcorp’s senior manager of strategic treasury, Amy Kerr, says being able to combine her annual leave and parental leave entitlements allowed her to be at home for 12 months with daughter Morgan, when she was born last year.
“This was really important to me as a single mother by choice, it gave me the flexibility to stay home and bond with my daughter which was very important to me,” she says.
Since returning to work two months ago, Amy has continued to feel supported in juggling single motherhood and her career.
“My general manager and I have been able to agree on a flexible working arrangement that allows me to work full time while also having important time with my daughter each day,” she says.
“I leave the office at 3.30 and pick her up by 4.30 and this allows me to be the best parent I can be for my daughter and a great role model for her in the future.
“Flexibility and trust in people – parents or not – allow us to deliver our best work beyond the standard nine to five, and it enables me to be the best parent I can be.” Tabcorp employee, Amy Kerr.
It’s not just new mums like Amy who are benefiting from Tabcorp’s flexible work arrangements and leave policies.
Chief People Officer Merryl Dooley says the company was recently named one of the Best Workplaces for New Dads.
“Our parental leave policy allows for pass-the-baton leave and we’re seeing more dads make use of primary carer’s leave when their partner returns to work,” Merryl explains.
“We’re proud to help lead the way in creating truly balanced and inclusive workplaces in Australia.”
She says the Inclusion and Diversity strategy, launched on International Women’s Day, sets out a three-year roadmap to become an employer of choice for inclusion and diversity.
“Simply being able to take bereavement leave instead of sick leave when you have experienced a miscarriage validates the loss that you have experienced.” Pink Elephants’ founder, Samantha Payne (pictured)
Given Tabcorp was named an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for the Fourth consecutive year in 2019, they are clearly already on the right track.
As Meryl says: “Inclusion and diversity are not just policies at Tabcorp, it’s embedded in our culture.”
Go to http://miscarriagesupport.org.au to find out more information about Pink Elephants.