Sling & Stone introduces new parental leave and pregnancy loss policies

Recently acquired communications agency Sling & Stone has introduced a new paid parental policy for both primary and secondary carers across each of its Australian, New Zealand and United States offices.

The policy affords ‘Slingers’ up to 12 weeks at full pay, which covers all instances of new parenthood, including newborn, surrogacy, IVF, adoption or fostering.

The leave can also be taken when it best suits the individual, either together, at a later date or split. In order to get the full 12 weeks, employees must have been at Sling & Stone for three years or more.

Sling & Stone

Senior HR manager at Sling & Stone, Fran Chitoriski, said: “When designing the policy it was important to us to take an inclusive approach. This meant viewing each parent equally and not dictating entitlement based on whether you’re otherwise considered the primary or secondary carer — unlike many traditional paid parental leave policies.

“Becoming a parent is a significant life event for either partner. An inclusive approach views parenting responsibilities equally and champions this. It gives all employees the deserved time off to focus on family with support and peace of mind.”

Fran Chitoriski

The agency said the changes come as its policies “must reflect the progressive and inclusive values” it upholds.

This comes alongside compassionate leave for pregnancy loss, which will provide up to eight weeks full time leave, plus additional time if requested, in the event of a baby loss. This also includes surrogacy, IVF and adoption.

“Pregnancy loss is a deeply saddening experience for both parents,” Chitoriski continued. “Every case of pregnancy loss is different. We encourage Slingers to take the time they need with the support to do so.

“I hope that both of our policies and approach will inspire other agencies and organisations to consider similarly inclusive parental policies, so that we can pave the way towards an equal future together.”

This year has seen several agencies implement new parental leave policies, with strategic insights agency, Nature, offering six months paid leave to its employees. 

Clemenger Group also implemented a new policy group-wide, allowing up to 20 weeks of parental leave for those who have been at its agencies for three or more years.

M&C Saatchi’s policy includes 12 weeks paid leave for primary carers, while IPG Mediabrands offers a minimum of 12 weeks parental leave, with a week being added on for each year of tenure up to 16 weeks.

Publicis Groupe offers staff leave of up to 18 weeks (based on tenure) if they are the primary carer of a new-born or adopted child.

In September, VCCP Business, part of VCCP, acquired Sling & Stone, in a deal that saw the agency become part of VCCP Business, and join its network of specialist agencies globally.

The full leave entitlements:

  • Up to 12 weeks paid parental leave at full pay for any Slinger, with Slingers who have tenure of 3 years or more able to unlock the full amount

  • In the event of a stillbirth, 8 weeks paid compassionate leave at full pay for any Slinger

  • In the event of a miscarriage, 2 weeks paid compassionate leave at full pay for any Slinger 

  • In the event of abortion, 2 weeks paid compassionate leave at full pay for any Slinger 

  • Additional leave options and flexibility available for any Slinger who may require, without fear of judgement and support extended


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