Australia Needs a Fair Dinkum Paid Parental Leave Scheme
08 March 2012
Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo says International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women and to recommit ourselves to policies that provide hope, reward and opportunity for Australian women.
“This International Women’s Day we must recognise there is much more to do when it comes to ensuring Australian women enjoy the same economic opportunities as men”, said Mr Ciobo.
“The gender wage gap, after narrowing through much of the Howard years, has increased again under Labor and is currently the widest it has been in a quarter of a century,” he said.
Mr Ciobo said Australia needs a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme that pays a replacement wage rather than a minimum wage.
“We do not pay sick leave, carers leave, holiday leave or long service leave at the minimum wage and nor should we do so with parental leave,” he said.
The Coalition’s Paid Parental Leave scheme will provide a replacement wage for 26 weeks up to a maximum of $75,000.
“According to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Paid Parental Leave, there were at least 37 nations around the world who had introduced a paid parental leave scheme prior to the launch of Labor’s minimum wage scheme and of those schemes 35 were based on full or part replacement wage,” said Mr Ciobo.
“Australia is the only country with a paid parental leave scheme that is entirely based on a minimum wage,” he said.
“Paid parental leave should not be an afterthought, it is an essential ingredient in lifting female participation rates, and creating greater opportunity for Australian women to fully participate in work and family life if they choose.”