SIX YEARS OF LABOR’S PAID PARENTAL LEAVE SCHEME

3 Jan 2017

Today marks six years since the introduction of Labor’s Paid Parental Leave scheme.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON
ACTING SHADOW MINISTER SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

SIX YEARS OF LABOR’S PAID PARENTAL LEAVE SCHEME  

Today marks six years since the introduction of Labor’s Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Over the last six years more than 800,000 Australian families have benefited from Paid Parental Leave, which provides 18 weeks leave paid at the minimum wage.

Today’s sixth birthday of Paid Parental Leave is also the day the Turnbull Government had planned to cut paid parental leave to 80,000 new mums every year.

Malcolm Turnbull and Christian Porter are trying to cut up to $12,000 in Paid Parental Leave to around 80,000 hard-working mums, who just want time away from work to bond with their newborn babies.

The Turnbull Government’s proposed cuts will mean new mums will have less financial support and less time to spend with their babies.

This includes many women with low to middle incomes working in retail, banking, nursing and teaching.

The cuts were due to take place on 1 January 2017, but thanks to Labor, legislation has not yet passed the Parliament.

A Senate Inquiry is due to release its report on the changes on 15th February 2017.

Before the introduction of Labor’s scheme, Australia was one of just two OECD countries without a comprehensive paid parental leave scheme.

Labor’s PPL scheme has given new parents the financial support to take time off work to care for their newborn in those critical early months, and kept them connected to their workplaces. 

Australia’s paid parental leave scheme was specifically designed so that it could be topped up by employers who want to add to the government’s scheme, so that new mums could spend more time with their newborn.

The scheme ensures that working mothers all have access to a minimum of 18 weeks of paid parental leave. This was a first for many Australian women, particularly those in casual work.  

About 55 per cent of working mothers had no access to paid parental leave before Labor’s scheme was introduced.

The introduction of the scheme actually prompted many employers to introduce their own schemes for the first time, topping up the leave provided by the Government so that women could have the time they need at home to bond with their new babies, breastfeed and recover from the birth for their babies.

An independent review by the University of Queensland found that new mums are now more likely spend more time at home with their baby after the birth, and are more likely to return to their same job because of the scheme.

Australia’s successful paid parental leave scheme is under threat from the Turnbull Government.

Labor will keep fighting these unfair cuts to working mums.

Australian families know they can’t trust the Turnbull Government when it comes to paid parental leave.

SUNDAY, 1 JANUARY 2017