Commonwealth Bank is increasing paid parental leave for any employee who experience the tragic loss of a child through stillbirth. Primary carers will have access to 12 weeks of paid parental leave with secondary carers able to access four weeks of paid leave.

Sian Lewis, CBA Group Executive of Human Resources, said: “Tragically, around six babies are stillborn in Australia every day. As one of Australia’s largest employers, our people have been, and will sadly continue to be impacted by this heart-breaking event.

“A stillbirth can be an extremely traumatic event for parents, and may require additional time away from work to help them grieve and to begin the healing process.

“We hope that increasing this type of leave will remove some pressure during an already traumatic period so parents can concentrate on what matters most and get the support they need.”

Stillbirth Foundation Australia CEO, Leigh Brezler, commended the bank on the increased support: “CBA’s announcement to increase its paid parental leave for parents who experience a stillbirth demonstrates their understanding of this tragic issue, as well as their commitment to supporting their people. We welcome the change to their paid parental leave policy and the many people it will benefit within their organisation.”

In addition to increasing leave for parents who experience a stillbirth, the bank has also increased its support for parents more broadly. This includes the introduction of flexible parental leave structuring, which aims to give employees greater financial flexibility to structure their paid and unpaid leave options in a way that works best for them. As well as the creation of a New Parents Wellbeing Guide, that is designed to help parents navigate the changes ahead.

“Having children is both a significant and life changing event so looking after the wellbeing of our people at this time is paramount. We are always looking for ways to enhance the support we offer, extending and increasing the flexibility of our parental leave support is just one way we are continuing to support our people when they need it most,” Ms Lewis said.