Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Gillard Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme gives thousands a happy Mother’s Day.

More than 280,000 families have now benefitted from the Gillard Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme, giving Australian mums another reason to celebrate today.

Our Paid Parental Leave scheme is helping more mums take time off with their new babies in the critical early months.

For many low paid, casual and part time workers, this is the first time they have had this support.

The Gillard Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme provides eligible working parents with up to 18 week’s pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage (currently about $606 a week before tax).

The introduction of Dad and Partner Pay on 1 January this year also provides eligible working dads or partners, including adoptive parents and same sex partners, two weeks’ pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage.

So far more than 22,000 new dads and partners have lodged their claim for Dad and Partner Pay, and more than 15,000 have received their payment.

These historic reforms give parents more options to balance work and family, help employers to retain skilled staff, and help boost workforce participation.

Labor introduced Australia’s first national paid parental leave scheme and we designed it so that it is a scheme that is fair for all working women.

Before this only about half of Australia’s working women had access to some form of paid leave when they had a baby – now 95 per cent of working women, including almost all of those women who were missing out – have access to paid leave.

In contrast, Tony Abbott’s parental leave scheme would reward high flying bank executives and lawyers with $75,000 to have a baby at the expense of ordinary working women.

It took a Labor Government to deliver Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave Scheme – a scheme that’s fair for working women and fair for business.