Cricket Australia reveals ground-breaking parental leave policy for players

Cricket Australia reveals ground-breaking parental leave policy for players
Photograph: Jono Searle/Getty Images

On the eve of the domestic summer of cricket, Cricket Australia has announced a “game-changing” parental leave policy that aims to support pregnant players and their families.

The announcement comes after three years of consultation between CA and the players’ union, the Australian Cricketers’ Association.

The policy aims to keep women cricketers in the game longer by allowing pregnant players to transfer to a non-playing role until they give birth.

Players will also be eligible for 12 months’ paid parental leave and will be guaranteed a contract extension for the following contract year, in line with their contractual arrangements.

Related: History made as Australia extend ODI winning run to 18 matches

“Were a woman cricketer to become pregnant, it typically signalled the end of their career,” said Alistair Nicholson, chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association.

“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.”

Alyssa Healy, who has played a key role in Australia’s recent history-making winning run, said she was 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’m pleased this policy provides support to players so if they choose to can both care for their child and participate in the game,” she said.

“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.”

As part of the new policy, partners of players who give birth will be entitled to three weeks’ paid leave.

A player can return to the game any time after giving birth – subject to medical clearance – and once they do travel support will be provided for primary carers, including flights, accommodation and other travel expenses.

A carer will be available until the child is four.

“This is a world-leading, player-centred policy providing balance in the lives of all players,” Clea Smith, from the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said.

“The policy is designed to keep female players in the game for longer which will have a positive impact at all levels of the game.”

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