Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Abbott must guarantee teachers and nurses won’t miss out on his Paid Parental Leave

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Penny Wong
    Minister for Finance and Deregulation

Tony Abbott’s rolled gold paid parental leave scheme just got even more unfair, with reports today he wants to leave state and local government employees out

Excluding people who work for state and local governments from an Abbott Government national paid parental leave scheme would leave behind almost 708,000 Australian women.

Frontline workers like public school teachers, nurses, and police would not be covered.

Yet, at the same time, Tony Abbott wants to pay high flying bank executives and lawyers $75,000 to have a baby.

It is now clearer than ever that this $75,000 would come at the expense of women working on lower salaries.

Mr Abbott needs to come clean about which women won’t be covered by his scheme.

At the moment, his scheme would leave women in the following state and local government jobs behind:

  • Teachers and teachers’ aides
  • Nurses, orderlies and other health support staff
  • Police and other emergency services workers
  • Librarians
  • Child protection workers
  • Disability, aged care and child care workers
  • School, hospital and local council support staff such as cleaners, orderlies, canteen workers and bus drivers.

Some of these women receive only limited paid parental leave direct from their employers and would be worse off under Tony Abbott’s scheme than under current arrangements where they get both leave from their employer and the Government’s leave.

These women should not be disadvantaged by Mr Abbott’s desperate scramble to make his rolled gold scheme affordable.

When asked to give further detail of who would be covered by his scheme today, Mr Abbott would only guarantee that he would have more to say about his scheme in the coming weeks.

Labor has introduced Australia’s first national paid parental leave scheme and more than 270,000 working mums and their families have already benefitted from our scheme.

Labor’s scheme does not leave out those women who need it most – Tony Abbott needs to explain why his will.

Number of female employees in state and local government by state

New South Wales






South Australia


Western Australia






Northern Territory