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Santos is increasing its paid parental leave and covering up to $10,000 of annual out-of-pocket child care costs for primary carers returning to work, in order to better support employees who become new parents through those crucial early years.

The new benefits will apply to all office and field-based Santos staff across Australia. The plan:

  • Increases paid parental leave for the primary carer from 16 weeks to 18 weeks, including for adopted children
  • Increases paid parental leave for the secondary carer from one week to two
  • Provides 18 weeks paid leave for the primary carer who experiences the devastation of a still birth. Secondary carer leave for partner support would also apply
  • Introduces a new Child Care Subsidy for primary carers returning to work, paying 50% of out-of-pocket costs (after any government rebate) up to $10,000 net per child per year for up to three years.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher said Santos is passionate about attracting talent and retaining its workforce through initiatives such as this, that will support employees to balance work and family life.

“Supporting our people during what can be an equally exciting and daunting time starting a family is the right thing to do, not just for our staff, but for our business, as we want to retain all the great talent we attract,” Mr Gallagher said.

“This builds on Santos’ leadership in this area, having introduced paid maternity leave over a decade ago, and being the first, and still one of only a few companies in the resources sector to offer a ‘superannuation top-up’ for periods of unpaid maternity leave.

“This is just the first step of a wider program being developed to address the issues that return-to-work parents face, and those with carer’s responsibilities,” Mr Gallagher said.

Santos portfolio analyst Brianna Telenko recently started her paid parental leave, with her first baby due in late November.

“It makes life just that bit easier knowing I’ll be paid for 18 weeks of my parental leave. I love my job and know I want to come back to work. My husband and I have been thinking about how we’re going to juggle that, so having Santos give us that extra support with child care payments is fantastic and will really help,” Ms Telenko said.