MORE GENEROUS PAID PARENTAL LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS TO BENEFIT AUSTRALIAN FAMILIES BUT GREATER SUPPORTS ARE NEEDED
19 October 2023 – Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five campaign has welcomed the introduction of the Federal Government’s Bill to increase Australia’s paid parental leave (PPL) scheme, bringing the total entitlements to 26 weeks by 2026.
The Bill will reserve four weeks of paid leave for each parent in a two-parent household, ensuring that both parents are encouraged to engage in caregiving responsibilities.
The Bill will also introduce a concurrent leave policy, which will allow both parents to access four weeks of paid leave at the same, should they choose to, thereby ensuring greater flexibility.
Minderoo Foundation’s Jay Weatherill said that the Bill was a positive step that would help provide vital support to families with young children across Australia.
“We welcome the Government’s introduction of the Bill to increase Australia’s paid parental leave entitlements,” Mr Weatherill said.
“By ensuring that families across Australia have access to more generous parental leave entitlements, we can help enable them to bond with newborns and feel supported.
“Children benefit greatly from interactions with their parents in the early days and enabling more families to spend time and care for their newborn children is a step in the right direction.
“It is also encouraging to see that the Bill tries to incentivise both parents (in two-parent households) to utilise their parental leave entitlements.
“More generous paid parental leave also makes it easier for primary carers, who are predominantly mothers, to re-enter the workforce, and thereby boosting overall economic output.
“However, more still needs to be done to ensure that Australian parents are better supported to care for their newborn children.
“Even with the legislated increases, Australia’s paid parental leave entitlements remain far too low amongst comparable nations.
“Additionally, our PPL rates are not sufficient to adequately support the financial needs of families. And parents do not receive superannuation while on parental leave, further impeding their financial security.
“We call on the Government to lift the paid leave period to 52 weeks, raise the rate of pay to at least 50 per cent of the average pre-birth wage with eligibility caps for high-income households, pay the superannuation component and reserve at least 14 weeks for each parent with the rest to be shared as the parents choose.”