Families and business can rest assured Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme will not be wrecked by the Liberal-National Coalition.
Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs office reports that the House of Representatives today rejected the Member for Dunkley, Bruce Billson’s Private Members Bill which was designed solely to wreck Paid Parental Leave and strip away parent’s connection to the workforce while taking time off to have a baby.
The Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme is based on the recommendations of the Productivity Commission.
The Productivity Commission recommended employers have a role in providing Government funded Paid Parental Leave because it would help business retain skilled staff and increase workforce participation.
Under the Government's scheme parental leave pay is delivered as a workplace entitlement, just like sick leave or any other form of leave.
Australian families and businesses have embraced the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme, with more than 3,600 Australian parents already receiving payments. In addition, more than 2,800 businesses have already registered to take part in the scheme.
Australian families have been waiting decades for a national Paid Parental Leave scheme.
It took a Labor Government to deliver a Paid Parental Leave scheme that is fair to business and good for families.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the Bill would have undermined one of the key objectives of the PPL scheme: encouraging women's participation in the workforce by maintaining a connection to their employer during the period of leave.
“Paid Parental Leave has been a right in most developed countries for years. It is long overdue and the Productivity Commission recommended that employers play a role in administering it because it would help businesses retain skilled staff,” Ms Kearney said.
“It is sad to see the Liberal Party continuing their historical opposition to the right of new parents to spend time with their babies without having to worry about losing their place in the workforce.”
Ms Kearney said that ridiculous allegations by Mr Billson that the Government’s Paid Parental Leave is part of a “secret pact” with unions, were another sign of how out-of-touch the Coalition are on this issue. “Paid Parental Leave should be an entitlement, like the other rights that workers and unions have fought for,” Ms Kearney said.
“Unions will continue to campaign for better Paid Parental Leave provisions than the legislated minimum to further improve the lives of working parents. “Our position has been to improve on the Government’s PPL scheme and deliver extra benefits to workers’ through workplace bargaining. “Improvements may include full income replacement, increasing the length of paid parental leave to 26 weeks through an employer contribution, and ensuring that women continue to receive superannuation contributions while they are on parental leave.”