Cricket Australia announces landmark parental policy
In what can be seen as a landmark decision in women's cricket, Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday announced a new parental leave policy to support professional cricketers through pregnancy, adoption and their return to play.
The policy will allow players who give birth or adopt to go into a transition of a non-playing role with up to 12 months of paid leave. It will also guarantee a contract extension in the following year.
"As a player, I am proud to be part of a game with such a comprehensive and fit-for-purpose parental leave policy. With the playing and travel demands on cricketers, I am pleased this policy provides support to players, so if they choose to, can both care for their child and participate in the game," Australian cricketer Alyssa Healy said in a statement.
"Seeing friends and family raise children, I know the physical and emotional toll parenting can have. The policy is a game-changer for players planning for the future while providing job security. This policy is funded by the players, for the players for the future of the game," she added.
Under the policy, players who have a partner who gives birth will be entitled to three weeks paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child.
The player can return to the game subject to medical clearance any time after giving birth. If there are some 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.
This policy covers Australian players who have state, national or Big Bash contracts.
"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 have developed such a tailored policy taking into consideration all player and key stakeholder feedback," Drew Ginn, Executive General Manager of High Performance at Cricket Australia said.