Cricket Australia have announced a landmark parental leave policy to support professional cricketers through pregnancy, adoption, their return to play and parental responsibilities.
The policy entitles players who give birth or adopt to transition into a non-playing role with up to 12 months of paid leave. The policy also guarantees a contract extension in the following year, in line with the contractual arrangements of the players.Players whose partner is pregnant or adopting will be entitled to three weeks of paid leave. For players who are primary carers, travel support including flights, accommodation and other applicable travel expenses for the child and a carer will be available until the child is four years of age.
The policy came into effect on July 1 and covers Australian players who have state, national or Big Bash contracts.
"The policy is a game changer for players planning for the future while providing job security," Australia cricketer Alyssa Healy said. "With the playing and travel demands on cricketers, I'm pleased this policy provides support to players, so if they choose to, can both care for their child and participate in the game."
Adding to Healy's sentiments, Drew Ginn, the Executive General Manager of High Performance at Cricket Australia, pointed to the pressures of high performance sport and how the board's policies was aimed at catering to that.
"High performance sport is anything but a normal work environment and our policies for our players need to reflect this," Ginn said. "The job is physical, the hours irregular and 100 per cent commitment is expected at all times. This is why we've developed such a tailored policy taking into consideration all player and key stakeholder feedback.
"Like Alyssa, I'm proud to stand alongside this policy as yet another example of how Australian Cricket continues to lead the way."