Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Paid Parental Leave – interim report

Joint Media Release with:

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

The Government welcomes the Productivity Commission’s Draft Inquiry Report on Paid Parental Leave released today.

The interim report includes one possible model for a paid parental scheme in Australia. The Government will examine the Productivity Commission’s model in detail over the coming months.

The Commission will be accepting public submissions on the draft report until 14 November 2008 and will hold further public hearing starting on10 November this year. The Commission has been asked to provide a final report by February 2009.

Australia is one of only two developed countries that do not have a national system of paid maternity leave.

The Rudd Government is committed to building a modern Australia.

We recognise the need to ensure strong and sustainable economic growth, promote early childhood development, encourage greater gender equity and support families in balancing work and family responsibilities.

We are committed to a child-centred approach to family policy that puts the best interests of children at the heart of decision making.

The Government is committed to supporting all mothers, whether they are in a paid job or at home. We value the hard work of all mothers regardless of whether they are in paid work.

Any paid maternity leave scheme will need to be economically responsible.

In February, the Government delivered on its election commitment to request the Productivity Commission to examine ways the Government can provide improved support to parents with newborn children. The Commission received more than 250 submissions as part of the first public consultation process, reflecting the great energy and enthusiasm for the debate.

People wanting to contribute to the next stage of consultations can do so on the Productivity Commission’s website.