Melbourne Real Estate empowers women with paid parental leave

Three first-time mums-to-be at Melbourne Real Estate no longer have the added worry of budgeting for a single income when taking maternity leave, as the agency introduces paid parental leave.

Property Management Team Leader Tahlia Palazzolo, Senior Property Manager Andrea Hammond and Residential Sales Manager Talisa Paris will receive up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, at their average salary for the past 12 months, including commissions, when They will give birth in May and June.

The PPL program, which was revealed internally last week and publicly announced exclusively here at Elite Agent to mark International Women’s Day, “means the world” to new moms.

“It means everything to me,” Ms. Palazzolo said.

“It’s really financial support and it takes a bit of that pressure off us and just allows us to really enjoy this magical moment that we’re all about to embark on and not have that extra stress.

“It’s not just a support for me, but a support for my whole family because my whole family is going to benefit from this. We can both benefit from this new chapter of having a baby.

Tahlia Palazzolo. Photo: James Braund Photography.

The MRE PPL scheme can be taken at half pay and extended up to 24 weeks, plus a pension top-up on government sponsored paid parental leave and super paid on MRE leave.

It also includes 10 days of “staying in touch” to ensure new parents stay connected and part of the agency’s planning, learning and development, as well as flexible return-to-work arrangements.

Melbourne Real Estate founder Peter Hooymans said the agency was one of the few to offer PPL, particularly as a medium-sized business.

He said the decision to introduce the program came following reassessment of the core of the business after two difficult years with COVID-19 and analysis of what other big companies had put in place. for their teams.

“It extrapolated by looking at what the amazing legacy and generational companies looked like and not saying Apple is too big or Macquarie is too big, but looking at what they’re doing and figuring out if we could do it” , Mr. Hooymans said.

“I wanted to move us away from a convenience store mentality and towards a professional services firm. And as part of a professional services firm, if you go to Ernst & Young or KPMG and you have a child, you get support from the firm.

“Even though it was a big step forward for us financially and philosophically, it was one of the steps we wanted to take.”

Mr Hooymans said having three employees pregnant at the same time also symbolized the significance of the introduction of the scheme.

“The fact that we had three amazing women about to give birth at the same time brought it to a head at the same time, us thinking, ‘hey wait, do we want these people back?'” did he declare.

“They are all amazing operators and we want them all to come back in whatever capacity. It’s about taking care of our team for the long term.

Ms Paris said the PPL program made her feel supported and was a positive step for women in the real estate industry.

“This industry is still very male dominated, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction and it’s no surprise that MRE is taking this step as they have always supported women in real estate,” he said. she declared.

“They’re very committed to making women feel equal in the workplace and that’s one of the reasons I love working there.”

Ms Paris said real estate often had a revolving door with agents changing franchises or companies, but she said the PPL program had the potential to position MRE as an employer of choice.

Talisa Paris. Image: James Braund Photography

She said it also made her want to reciprocate the support MRE showed her when she returned from maternity leave.

“With something like this, when you feel so valued, appreciated, and given the extra resources to have that time off, it really makes you want to come back to the right place,” Ms. Paris said.

“I think it could certainly also have an impact on women’s choice of where they want to work.”

Ms Hammond said the financial support from the PPL was “incredible”, but she also appreciated the 10 days of “keeping in touch” that are part of the programme.

“A lot of times when people go on maternity leave, the company says, ‘Goodbye, see you in 12 months,’ and then you don’t see or hear from anyone until you get back to work,” said she declared.

“I imagine that would be quite daunting. So those contact days mean that you still feel part of the company culture.

“And in property management, there are so many legislative updates and changes all the time that the ability to stay current is amazing.”

To celebrate the women’s pregnancies, MRE also recently held a photoshoot to capture their glowing looks and growing bumps.

Women now have framed group and individual images that they can review and share with family and friends.

Andrea Hammond. Image: James Braund Photography

Each of the women said that having other colleagues, who are also first-time mothers, pregnant at the same time was special and that they had been able to compare experiences and gain support from a loved one.

Once the babies arrive, they plan to keep in touch and meet while on maternity leave.

“It was a very nice experience for us and I’m very grateful for that,” said Ms. Palazzolo.

“It feels like we’re part of something that will continue to evolve because real estate is ready for paid parental leave and we’re ready for real estate to empower women in more than just work.”

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