Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Working with business to deliver paid parental leave

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

The Australian Government will be working with employer, employee and community groups on the delivery of the historic Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Over the next three months meetings will be held with representative groups including major employers, unions, small business groups, self-employed people and tax and payroll professionals to finalise implementation arrangements.

In May this year the government announced it would introduce a national Paid Parental Leave scheme to provide greater financial support to families, increase workforce participation and promote early childhood development.

The $731 million, government-funded scheme will provide 18 weeks’ paid leave at the adult federal minimum wage, currently $543.78 per week, to the primary carer of a child born or adopted after 1 January 2011.

Paid parental leave will give more babies the best possible start in life. The payment will support a parent to stay at home to care for their baby full-time during the vital early months of social, cognitive and physical development.

Closely following the recommendations of the Productivity Commission, the scheme has been designed to impose minimal new costs on employers, in particular small businesses, in these tough economic times.

Many private sector employers already support their women employees through paid parental leave as an incentive to retain them in the workforce.

They understand that improving retention rates of their workers, who they have invested time and money in, makes great business sense.

The government scheme can be used in addition to or in conjunction with existing employer funded schemes, giving employers the opportunity to enhance their own arrangements for their employees.

We invite all peak employer and employee representative groups, small business groups, and family and community stakeholders to share their ideas and discuss how the Paid Parental Leave scheme will work on the ground.

The Government will also be working closely with State and Territory governments to ensure the scheme will be rolled out successfully across the nation.

More information about the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme and the consultations can be accessed at: Paid Parental Leave Scheme