Credit Suisse revives $7,500 child care rebate for female employees

by Freya Lucas

March 12

Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company, Credit Suisse, has used the occasion of International Women’s Day to promote an in-house $7,500 child care subsidy for female employees with children under school age, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) has reported.

 

The move, reported to be a way of incentivising new mothers to stay with the firm, mimics the previous Australian Government Child Care Rebate, which provided  parents receiving the former Child Care Benefit with 50 per cent of their out of pocket costs for childcare up to $7,500.

 

The introduction of the new Australian Government Child Care Subsidy in 2018 streamlined the payment system, with families now eligible for one payment, paid directly to the service, should they meet the required activity test and income brackets.

 

The AFR reports Credit Suisse as saying their new policy addresses “an industry wide problem” in the financial services sector, whereby female workforce participation is made more challenging for women by the lack of childcare available, and by the now means-tested child care subsidy, which excludes some of the higher earning members of the company due to combined income caps for families, after which no benefits are received.

 

Speaking with the AFR, Credit Suisse CEO Katrina Glover said the policy was designed to signal to women in the organisation that Credit Suisse was committed to making change, saying that despite childcare being an issue for families as a collective, all too often, “childcare becomes a question for women when considering their career options”.

 

Credit Suisse’s benefit scheme was established in 2018, with 100 per cent of women eligible for the scheme within the company taking up the offer, the AFR reported. The offer is only available to female employees of Credit Suisse.

 

Although there are staff retention and business benefits resulting from the introduction of the $7,500 offer, Ms Glover said that the main motivation for the scheme was acknowledging the costs associated with childcare, and the demands placed on women when they combine employment and parenting.

 

The AFR reported that the subsidy sits alongside other female-friendly work practices, including 16 weeks of paid parental leave, flexible work arrangements, and a ‘buddy system’ for those mothers returning to the workforce.

 

The full coverage of the original piece by the AFR may be accessed here.

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