Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday, October 11, has announced a new “game-changing” parental leave policy to support national international cricketers and their families through pregnancy, adoption, their return to play and responsibilities as primary carers.
The Australian board announced the latest development after three years of consultation with the Australian Cricketers’ Association on Friday.
The new policy allows the Australian players who get pregnant or adopt to transfer into a non-playing role until they give birth with 12-months paid parental leave. It also guarantees a contract extension for the following season to balance their lives.
The player-centered policy includes up to 12 months paid maternity and adoption leave, while up to three weeks partner leaves for both men and women cricketers, facility for children up to age four to join parents on tour and safe places for breastfeeding at grounds.
Alistair Nicholson, chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said on the move: “Were a woman cricketer to become pregnant, it typically signaled the end of their career. The travesty of this is that so many great athletes have not been given the chance to reach their true potential, denying the rest of us the opportunity to enjoy and admire their talent. It is a vitally important policy – one that is part of a broader story worth telling because of the messages it sends.”
Meanwhile, Drew Ginn, the Executive General Manager of High Performance at CA, stated: “High-performance sport is anything but a normal work environment and our policies for our players need to reflect this. The job is physical, the hours irregular and 100 percent 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.”
Noteworthy, the policy came into effect on July 1 and will also cover Australian players including state, international and Big Bash League.
(With Cricbuzz Inputs)