Baby feet

Expanded parental leave makes the juggle easier

CS Energy offers parental leave benefits to all genders to promote work-life balance and support inclusive and family friendly workplace practices.

We periodically review our approach to parental leave to ensure that we are aligned to organisational best practice. During a review in September 2021 CS Energy’s leadership team approved an increase in paid secondary carer’s leave from one week to six weeks.

One of the first employees to take secondary carer’s leave under the expanded entitlements was Shift Operator Technician Steve Nichols at Callide Power Station. He and his partner Jess Stratford, who is a Mining and Ash Project Officer at Callide, recently welcomed the birth of their second child.

Jess and Steve with family

“The increased secondary carer’s leave has been amazing. It has allowed our family unit to transition into a family of four seamlessly,” Jess said. “CS Energy was flexible with our work completion dates, which was very helpful when our daughter decided she was ready to join us four weeks early!”

CS Energy Head of HR Kim Best said the increased leave entitlement provides an opportunity for secondary carers to be more involved at an important time in their families’ lives and provide support and care for their partner and other children in the household.

“This builds on updates that we made to CS Energy’s Leave Entitlements Procedure last year to remove references to ‘maternity’ and ‘paternity’ leave and replace them with the gender-neutral references of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carers,” Kim said.

“More and more Dads are seeking flexible options to take time out to care for their children and support their partners.”

CS Energy employees who are the primary carer (no matter their gender) can continue to access 14 weeks paid parental leave.

CS Energy also offers superannuation payments during paid and unpaid parental leave, and flexible working arrangements after employees return from leave.

Hannah with family 

HR Advisor Hannah O’Brien, who is currently on primary carer’s leave for her second child, said this approach made a huge difference for working parents.

“Many women face the challenge of wishing to pursue a meaningful career and start a family, often at the same time,” Hannah said.

“CS Energy has enabled a balance in both aspects of my life through supporting my growing family and career over the last two years.

“I received financial support via primary carers leave and full superannuation payments while on unpaid leave. I have also had a flexible return to work where I am provided with career progression and opportunities to undertake meaningful work.”