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Govt on notice over paid parental leave election promise

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the pressure is on for the Federal Government to introduce a paid parental leave scheme in the upcoming Budget.

Families Minister Jenny Macklin was today presented with a GetUp! petition of more than 43,000 signatures calling on the Federal Government to provide for at least six months’ paid parental leave.

“The Rudd Government is on notice over its election promise of introducing government-funded paid parental leave,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young said the Government had a mounting list of tasks to action on the issue.

“The Government must immediately release the Productivity Commission’s report on paid parental leave – it’s been sitting on it since last month – and respond to the recommendations within it,” she said.

“Then the Government must clarify its position on introducing a paid parental leave scheme in the upcoming Budget.

“Yesterday was the perfect time to commit to a paid parental leave scheme as part of the Fair Work Bill, and to recognise this kind of leave as a workplace entitlement – but the Government snubbed this opportunity.

“The chronic backpedalling by the Prime Minister from his ‘bite the bullet’ comment on the urgent need to introduce paid parental leave in this country is creating confusion over what the Government actually stands for on the issue.”

The Greens are calling for a government-funded 26-week paid parental leave scheme.

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