The ABC takes a look at paid parental leave and proposed changes in the upcoming election in their recent audio news report, ‘Paid Parental Leave: How the two major parties compare‘.
Currently, parents get access to the government Paid Parental Leave Scheme set up in 2011, which gives the primary carer 18 weeks’ leave if the primary carer earns below $150,000 per year. The full 18 weeks must be taken in full immediately after birth.
“The modern working mother or father is challenged like no other generation before them,” says Emma Walsh, CEO of Parents At Work. “Because we have huge expectations of parents as a society now”.
Some of the proposed changes to paid parental leave include flexibility in the timing of leave – taking 12 weeks at the start, and six weeks at a later date – as well as changes to the work test for eligibility.
“I don’t think, fundamentally, they’re getting to the heart of the issue,” Emma Walsh says. “Both men and women have a role to play in raising a child, and so we should offer 18 weeks for women and 18 weeks for men”.