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Sgt Andrew Hetherington
ONE woman who has experi-
enced the benefits of the Army's
gender diversity initiatives is Cpl
Jodi Reid, a Narrow Band Satellite
Communications Specialist work-
ing at the Chief Information Officer
Group (CIOG) in Canberra.
Eleven months ago Cpl Reid and
her husband were extremely excited
when their first bundle of joy, Grace,
"When I first fell pregnant I didn't
know what my entitlements were," Cpl
"I found out what Army offered
through my boss at work and by
researching the Pay and Conditions
manuals on the Pacman website.
"I was able to take the leave I want-
ed and needed without it affecting my
family's lifestyle by still being paid dur-
ing the time I had off.
"I took my maternity leave at half-
pay and was able to also take a combi-
nation of normal recreation leave and
long service leave to be away from
work for 12 months."
The arrangements enabled her to
financially contribute to her family dur-
ing her time away from work without
the stress of returning to work early or
finding additional financial support.
Cpl Reid said the entitlements were
much fairer than some of her civilian
friends could access in their workplaces.
"When they found out what I could
access they thought it was a good deal,"
Career or kids? Why not both?
Communications specialist discovers big entitlements bonuses for military families
"Especially with the new paid paren-
tal leave scheme, where ADF members
can access what's on offer from the
government in addition to what Army
and Defence provides."
Financial assistance was not the
only benefit Cpl Reid received leading
up to and during her pregnancy.
"My workplace also allowed me to
work reduced hours leading up to Grace
arriving," Cpl Reid said. "They're also
flexible now after I've returned to work,
as I can't drop her off at childcare until
7.30am and I am meant to start work at
"So they're ok with me starting
work later in the morning and this has
allowed me to slowly integrate Grace
Cpl Reid and her husband are
expecting another child early next year.
Her superiors have managed her
work environment, allowing her to pro-
gress smoothly with her pregnancy and
"I really feel lucky and it makes me
feel really good they've done this."
Cpl Reid offers encouragement to
other Army personnel who have put
their careers ahead of having a child.
"People have to look at their own
priorities and if they decide to have a
child then there is no impact on their
long-term career from having taken
maternity leave," she said. "The Army is
an organisation that will recognise you
for the work you've done."
She said the Army's more-than-fair
entitlements had encouraged her to stay
with the organisation.
"If the Army didn't offer all of the
entitlements to women it does, I don't
think I would have stayed in uniform or
in the Army as long as I have."
For more information on parental leave
look up Pacman Vol 1, Chapter 5, Part 4
(maternity leave) and Part 4A (the Australian
Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme) on
Family first: Cpl Jodi Reid with her daughter Grace. Cpl Reid appreciates
the entitlements provided by the Army for parents. Photo by Sgt Andrew Hetherington
Maternity Leave: A member may
be entitled to up to 14 weeks paid
and 38 weeks unpaid maternity
leave. Other forms of paid leave may
be substituted for unpaid maternity
leave. Members may also be eligible
for the Australian Government's Paid
Parental Leave scheme.
Parental leave: Members who
become parents of a newborn or
adopted dependant child and mem-
bers who are not entitled to paid
maternity leave may be granted two
weeks paid parental leave. A further
period of up to 64 weeks unpaid
parental leave may also be granted.
Members who have taken their enti-
tlement of 52 weeks maternity leave
may be granted up to 14 weeks
unpaid parental leave to extend their
period of absence.
Leave Travel: Pregnant mem-
bers categorised Member Without
Dependants may be entitled to leave
travel to access extended family
support before the birth.
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