Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today announced her intention to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to provide for a 26-week government-funded paid parental leave scheme when Parliament resumes in a fortnight.
The Greens have long been campaigning for a universal government-funded paid parental leave scheme to be introduced in Australia, as it remains one of two OECD countries without one.
“The Greens are taking action on this important issue by proposing a scheme that we hope will be passed into law,” said Senator Hanson-Young.
“Despite enormous public support for a government-funded paid parental leave scheme, from workers, parents and business, the Government has repeatedly backpedalled from its promise of introducing paid parental leave.
“We have seen no commitment from the Government to deliver paid parental leave in this Federal Budget, which is just not good enough when Australian parents have already waited so long to enjoy its benefits.
“Now more than ever is the time to support parents as they take on the important job of raising our next generation. A paid parental leave scheme will help give Australian kids the best start possible in life.”
The Greens’ proposed paid parental leave features:
- 26 weeks’ paid leave at the birth or adoption of a child
- 6 weeks quarantined for the mother, with the remaining 20 weeks split between the two parents at their discretion
- Offered to full-time, part-time and casual employees who have worked for a minimum of 12 months with the employer, and the self-employed
- Paid at the Federal Minimum Wage
- Payment to be made by the Commonwealth to the employer, and then from the employer to the eligible employee.
- Payment to be treated as a wage and salary income for the purposes of taxation, superannuation and other laws and agreements
“The Greens’ proposed paid parental leave scheme is affordable, viable, and responsible,” said Senator Hanson-Young.
“It will deliver strong economic stimulus in the short-term, and long-term economic and social benefits, impacting on the health, education, and social fabric of our community into the future.
“The Greens urge the Senate to support this Bill when it is introduced into the Parliament next month.”