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Six Months Plus Super Is the Way Forward

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 15 Mar 2010

The Federal Government's take-it-or-leave-it approach to its less-than-desirable 18-week paid parental leave plan will not deliver the support Australian families need, according to Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on the Status of Women, says the Greens have had legislation on the table since May last year to provide six months of paid parental leave, plus superannuation payments.

It remains the only piece of legislation on this issue before Parliament today.

"It's great that all sides of politics now agree that a national paid parental scheme is necessary, but let's make sure it delivers the best possible result for Australia's mums and dads,''  Senator Hanson-Young said.

"The way to secure a speedy resolution is for the Government and the Opposition to accept a package with six months' leave on the minimum wage, plus super.''

The Greens believe Government legislation needs to be put in front of Parliament as soon as possible, in order to have the best chance of meaningful paid parental leave reform before the next election.

The Greens' proposed amendments would deliver:

• Six months paid parental leave

• Provision for superannuation payments

• Payments set at the minimum wage - with incentives for business to top up payments based on existing schemes.

"We can't afford to put off Parliamentary debate on this issue, but we need to have sufficient time on the agenda to deal with paid parental leave properly, not just ramming through the Government's plan as the only possible option," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"Families need six month's leave plus super, and no amount of spinning from the Government will change that.''

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