Nurses and midwives know that access to paid parental leave (PPL) is critical in improving maternal and child health. The World Health Organisation recommends 26 weeks’ PPL as the minimum standard to allow new mums and babies to bond, to encourage and maximise breastfeeding, and to give time for new mums to recover.
That’s why in 2013, when Tony Abbott promised that his Government would introduce a scheme where all new mothers could access 26 weeks’ PPL, many women, their partners and families were pleased. Unfortunately, the Abbott Government has not kept this promise. Rather than increase access to PPL, the Government has reduced it.
The most recent change, to reduce access to PPL even further, was announced on Mother’s Day this year. This means that instead of every new primary carer being provided with a minimum of 18 weeks’ paid parental leave and the opportunity to complement this leave with employer provided leave, new mothers/primary carers will lose access to the Government scheme if their employer provides some paid parental leave. The loss could be up to $11,500 in Government paid parental leave.
We want to know about your experience of working and raising a family, your views on PPL and how this Government’s decision will affect you. Please take our PPL survey and share your views with us.