Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Wages increase is good news for new mums and dads

Today’s decision to increase the minimum wage is good news for thousands of Australian families who will receive higher payments under the Gillard Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme.

The Fair Work Commission today announced the national minimum wage would increase by $15.80 a week from 1 July this year. This means the weekly rate of Paid Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay will increase from about $606 to about $622 a week from 1 July.

New mums and dads love Labor’s Paid Parental Leave scheme – Australia’s first national scheme. More than 280,000 families have already benefited from Paid Parental Leave since it began on 1 January 2011, providing 18 weeks’ pay at the rate of the national minimum wage.

Prior to the Labor Government’s scheme only about 50 per cent of working women had access to employer funded paid parental leave. Now, about 95 per cent of working women have access to paid leave.

The introduction of Dad and Partner Pay on 1 January this year also provides eligible working dads or partners with two weeks’ pay at the rate of the national minimum wage.

So far more than 23,000 new dads and partners have lodged their claim for Dad and Partner Pay, and more than 16,000 have received their payment.

Labor is delivering a Paid Parental Leave scheme that is fair for Australian families.

This stands in stark contrast to Tony Abbott’s unfair and costly policy that is the subject of an ongoing revolt inside his own partyroom.

Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave policy would give $75,000 to wealthy women to have a baby while leaving ordinary working women behind. The Coalition’s new tax on business would also drive up prices at the checkout and put upward pressure on interest rates, hurting all families.

Only Labor can be trusted to deliver a fair Paid Parental Leave scheme for Australian families.