Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Paid Parental Leave Bill passes House of Representatives

Australian families are one step closer to being able to access Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Legislation for Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme was passed today by the House of Representatives.

Giving new mums and dads extra support to spend more time with their baby means children will get a better start to life.

The Government’s scheme will provide up to 18 weeks’ Government-funded parental leave pay at the National Minimum Wage (currently $543.78 per week) for eligible parents of children born or adopted on or after 1 January 2011.

The Government’s scheme is based closely on the expert recommendations of the Productivity Commission and is in Australia’s economic interest.

We urge the Senate to support this bill and not delay it beyond the winter sitting so that working families can access Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme from 1 January next year.

We look forward to receiving the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry report by 3 June 2010.

If the bill is passed in this sitting of Parliament, the first claims for Parental Leave pay can be lodged with the Family Assistance Office from 1 October 2010.

Australian families have been waiting decades for paid parental leave.

The Government’s scheme is fair for families and fair to business.

For 12 years in government, the Liberals refused to deliver a paid parental leave scheme. Now Tony Abbott wants to hit business with a great big tax that will drive up prices for families and pensioners.