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Unilever to ‘close the gap’

Unilever has announced it will pay new parents full superannuation for 36 weeks of unpaid leave.

The initiative is part of a bid to help ‘close the gap’ for women at the end of their working life, News.com.au reported.

Announced on International Women’s Day on March 8th, primary carers will be offered a further 36 weeks of unpaid leave, in addition o the 16 weeks of paid leave.

Unilever Australia and New Zealand chief executive Clive Stiff said: “What we find is most of our parental leavers do take a full year”.

“The super piece is interesting. We polled our employees to find out if they would prefer extra weeks of paid leave or super cover and in fact the response was super cover — the stats were just staggering,” Mr Stiff said.

News.com.au said in 2008, the average superannuation balance for women was 59.1% of the male average. While in 2018 this had risen to 72.2% which Mr Stiff said is still a massive gap, with a “major opportunity to close that gap”.

“Our employees tend to be relatively young so making this move we hope will have quite a significant impact when they do retire,” he said.

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