‘We know many talented people opt to leave our industry because they may not see it as family friendly’
How can companies retain the best talent? By offering the best benefits, according to WPP AUNZ Managing Director New Zealand, Sven Baker.
“We know many talented, strong and experienced people opt to leave our industry because they may not see it as either family friendly, or a viable long-term option,” said Baker.
“We recognise this needs to change. Having a truly diverse workplace with people from a variety of backgrounds, and life stages makes our business better, and our employees happier.”
Consequently WPP, AUNZ has launched a parental leave policy for both primary and secondary carers across its New Zealand company.
The new policy, which is effective from June 1, will see NZ-based employees paid up to 16 weeks full salary depending on length of tenure. After just one year of service, employees will be offered 12 weeks’ full pay.
Moreover, secondary carers will be provided four weeks leave on full pay after two years of service, and two weeks after just one year. It will apply to employees of WPP AUNZ, and most of its NZ agencies.
The policy is part of a number of changes WPP AUNZ has introduced in both the NZ and Australian markets during the past 18 months.
These include: an Australian parental leave policy introduced earlier this year; a company-wide diversity and inclusion survey to benchmark expectations; the introduction of a bespoke training programme called The Academy and the rollout of MyTime (a flexible working arrangement).
They also introduced the use of alternative recruitment arrangements in Australia to ensure a diverse workplace and Walk the Talk, a globally-proven WPP initiative to help women grow and thrive in their careers.
Baker added that companies with supportive family policies have lower levels of sick leave and improved employee morale.
“And importantly for our business, they also have a positive impact on staff retention and engagement,” said Baker.
“So the balance of work, family, and other responsibilities has never been more important.”
According to Barker, the parental leave policy was developed after a careful examination of New Zealand standards teamed with results of research undertaken to understand what employees need and want.
The outcome is a policy that reflects WPP AUNZ as a “long-term career option that is supportive through all different phases of life”, he added.
“We have implemented this policy as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and believe it is among the best in the industry.”