In a competitive recruitment environment, hotel companies are stepping up their employment policies to attract a diverse pool of talent and create a workplace that is family-friendly, supportive and inclusive to all team members.

The Ascott Limited Australia has introduced a number of policies to support employees and their families.

Managing Director, David Mansfield, says it’s the responsibility of an employer to do “everything they can” to support parents to be there for their families and reassimilate back into the workforce in such a way that their career is not disadvantaged.

The business offers 24 weeks of paid parental leave inclusive of superannuation – something which he believes is an important inclusion.

“We wanted to ensure that superannuation was inclusive as we know that would play a part in resolving the current social issue of women over 55 facing homelessness, when their life situation changes and in particular for those that paused paid work to raise children,” Mansfield said.

The company also offers up to six days paid Fertility Treatment leave in addition to paid personal leave, and in the event of pregnancy loss, team members have access to eight days of leave in addition to the two days of compassionate leave available.

Furthermore, six days of Menopause and Menstrual leave are available for those that need it.

“As a side note we also introduced a partnership with Moxie and period care provider where we are providing free period care for any of our guests,” Mansfield added.

Ascott also offers flexible hours with the ability for employees to work a four-day working week making it one of the few businesses in the country to offer this.

Breaking the stigma

The Star launched its revised parental leave policy and benefits in June 2021 to foster a family friendly, diverse and inclusive workplace. It includes 16 weeks paid parental leave for principal carers and four weeks company-paid parental leave for secondary carers. These leave entitlements can be taken up to two years after the birth or adoption of a child.

Team members also receive superannuation on all company-paid parental leave and principal carers receive an additional two weeks of superannuation (totalling 18 weeks)

The Star Entertainment Group Managing Director and CEO, Robbie Cooke, said the response so far has been “fantastic”.

“In the first year following the policy review, the number of team members taking parental leave was up 47% on the average across the three previous years,” Cooke said.

“Further, around 47% more men have chosen to take parental leave, representing an increase of around 35% against the prior three-year average.”

Cooke said he is encouraged by that upward trend of men choosing to take paternal leave.

“It helps to reduce the workplace stigma of taking parental leave, while also allowing for more women to return to the workforce earlier and continue to develop their careers,” he said.

During parental leave, team members can choose to participate in up to 10 paid “Keeping in Touch” days to stay connected to the workplace and make the transition back to work easier.

When it comes to people policies, Cooke says the business recognises that everyone’s situation is unique and that they may require flexibility in various forms to prioritise what matters most to them and flourish in their roles.

“We offer a variety of flexible work arrangements for new parents and carers depending on each team member’s individual circumstances including job sharing, preferred shifts, condensed hours, remote working and part-time,” he said.

Gender affirmation

Accor Pacific also recently expanded its paid Parental Leave to up to 10 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child, plus the contribution of superannuation during this period, and updated its Family and Domestic Violence Leave policy to include up to 20 days of paid leave annually, flexible working arrangements, and emergency accommodation for up to 20 days per year.

In November 2022, the business introduced a gender transitioning policy to better support its transgender, nonbinary, takatāpui, and gender diverse employees through gender identity and affirmation at work.

The gender affirmation support plan includes up to 20 days’ paid leave and up to 12 months’ unpaid leave for full-time employees (pro-rata for part-time and casual), the ability for employees to choose the uniform that best represents them, change of names and pronouns in Accor systems, and additional training for managers and colleagues where required.

Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry, said it’s about celebrating all gender identities and providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for everyone.

“Everybody has the right to be themselves at work and, most importantly, to feel safe in their workplace,” she said.

“Accor strives to support all team members so they can achieve their highest potential – this is why we are committed to constantly improving the workplace for our teams.