Back to All News

Paid leave a no-brainer to support Australian parents

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today welcomed the Productivity Commission’s recommendation for a government-funded 18-week paid parental leave scheme, saying that such a proposal was long overdue for Australian workers.

The recommendation was made in the Productivity Commission’s initial report into paid parental leave, based on more than 250 submissions, which was released today.

“A paid parental leave scheme should be a no-brainer for the Government,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“Australia is lagging way behind the rest of the world on this issue, being one of only two OECD countries without any form of paid parental leave guaranteed for its workers.

“It’s appalling that in 2008, two-thirds of Australian women cannot access any paid maternity leave.

“It’s a glaring omission in our industrial relations laws.”

Senator Hanson-Young urged the Federal Government to prioritise a paid parental leave scheme in next year’s budget.

“With the Federal Government currently sitting on a $22 billion budget surplus, a government-funded paid parental leave scheme is something we can afford and must prioritise,” she said.

“Australia’s working mums and dads should not have to wait until 2010 or even later to be supported in this critically important way.

Senator Hanson-Young said the Greens would continue to campaign for 26 weeks’ minimum government-funded paid parental leave.

“What the Greens are calling for is backed by a broad range of stakeholder organisations, from unions, to business groups, women’s groups and health organisations,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“This report highlights the need for the Australian Government to listen to the community and industry, and catch up in supporting parents and their children.

“A government-funded paid parental leave scheme is an investment in the future of the whole nation, for the sake of healthy families and healthy communities, and should be swiftly bumped up the federal legislative agenda.”

For further information please call Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760

Back to All News