Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Making history with Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • Kate Ellis MP, Minister for the Status of Women

Today is a day to celebrate the achievements of women who have campaigned for decades for a national Paid Parental Leave scheme.

On International Women’s Day, more than 6,700 women are receiving government funded Paid Parental Leave. This historic entitlement would never have been achieved without the commitment and determination of thousands of Australian women.

On 1 January this year, the Gillard Labor Government delivered a historic reform for working women and families – Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme.

The Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme provides eligible working parents with parental leave pay for up to 18 weeks at the minimum wage (currently $570 a week before tax).

Paid Parental Leave gives babies the best start in life and helps women remain connected to their workplace when they have a baby.

It means one parent has the financial security to take time off work to care for their baby at home during the vital early months of their baby’s life.

It will give working mums time to recover from the birth, and bond with their baby.

This new entitlement assists with the challenges and realities of modern family life, helping parents balance work and family responsibilities.

Paid Parental Leave is also good for business helping them retain valuable and skilled staff and boosting workforce participation.

Since the scheme began on January 1, almost 30,000 new and expecting parents have applied for Paid Parental Leave.

In addition, 3,225 employers have registered to play their part in the scheme.

Key state and territory facts

People who have applied for Paid Parental Leave (at week ending 4 March)
675 9,677 263 6,121 2,145 627 7,286 3,076 29,893

NB: Columns do not add to total due to some applicants not providing full details at this stage.

Parents receiving Paid Parental Leave (at week ending 4 March)
124 2,168 63 1,488 524 145 1,568 667 6,747