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Our new dads embrace our parental leave policy

Telstra News Community

Posted on December 2, 2019

4 min read

We’ve been named number two on the list of best workplaces for new dads according to research conducted by HBF Health and CoreData. 

Since we announced changes to our parental leave policy in July, more than 400 Telstra dads have taken up the new entitlements which are designed so that every new Australian based parent, regardless of gender, can share caring responsibilities while maintaining their career. 

Changing our policy removed the distinction between primary and secondary carers. Now, any eligible parent who has been with Telstra for a year or more can take up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave within the first 12 months after their child’s birth or placement. Secondary carers previously received two weeks of paid leave. 

And there’s added flexibility – it can be taken in one block or multiple blocks and can also be used to return to work on a part-time basis. 

We talk to some of the new dads here who are loving the new policy. 

First-time dad – Steve Papayianis 

Operations Specialist – providing operational support to the Telstra Business Technology Centre 

Steve and Jordan Papayianis, first-time dad

Jordan Papayianis was born on August 17, 2019 to Steve and Jo. The first-time parents were excited, in love, anxious and wide-eyed as their world had just changed forever. This is his story.

I took off five weeks from the birth to help care for Jordan and help Jo as she recovered and adapted to motherhood. 

What I really love about the policy is its flexibility in allowing me to take the 16 weeks in intervals, meaning I can spend quality time with Jordan during different phases of the first 12 months of his life.  

The extra time at home gave Jo and I the chance to really go into parenthood as a team. It’s also allowed me to spend quality time with Jordan and enjoy moments I would have otherwise missed. 

I’m extremely fortunate to be part of a very flexible team and supportive manager who continually promotes the values of family and work-life balance. 

Second-time dad – Dylan Radcliffe 

Enterprise Architect – lead solution architect on the Consumer and Small Business Digitisation Program 

Dylan and Leon Radcliffe, second-time dad

Leon Radcliffe arrived in April to join big brother Eric who is five years old. Dylan has worked at Telstra for 17 years and is relishing the new parental leave policy combined with All Roles Flex. This is his story.

I took two weeks off when Leon was born and I am taking another five weeks over January, which enables me to take on greater parental responsibility and support my partner as she prepares to return to work.  

I believe society has started to acknowledge that women do more than their fair share of domestic work in general, including parenting, and that dads need to lift their game. 

We’ve shown real leadership in this policy change by acknowledging that both parents have a role to play, not just the primary carer (very often the mum). From a personal perspective, this has given me an opportunity to spend more time off work with my youngest son Leon than was possible back when my eldest was born. 

As a leader myself, I believe it is vital we take care of our people – one of our values is show you careafter all. Part of that is recognising their home responsibilities including as parents or carers and providing flexible working arrangements to help with this.  

Soon-to-be-dad – Mark Soffer 

Global Footprint Principal – leading the Global Footprint function which coordinates on what Telstra does across the globe 

Mark and Sasha Soffer, expecting their first child in February

Mark and his wife Sasha are expecting their first baby in February. Sasha is a doctor and won’t be able to take much time off, so Mark is taking a different approach to parental leave. This is their story.

The new parental leave policy has literally been life-changing for me. I’m not just taking the 16 weeks, I’m taking 32 weeks at half pay to stay home with our child and enable my wife to focus on her medical career.  

This wasn’t something that we had considered when we decided to start a family, but the new policy has meant we have been able to prioritise as a family what works best for us and our baby. 

The leadership that we’ve shown by introducing this policy has meant that I haven’t had to choose between being a dad and working full time as we bring our baby into the world.