The Parenthood has provided a Pre-Budget Submission to the Australian Treasury for the 2024-2025 Federal Budget.
Our submission focuses on the reforms necessary to deliver on the Commonwealth Government’s ambition to make Australia a world leader in regard to the early years and gender equity.
For too long Australia has lagged developed countries in the provision of best practice, evidence-based policies that optimally support children, parents and families. This leads to negative social and economic outcomes including poorer educational and health outcomes for children; lower lifetime earnings, poorer health and wellbeing outcomes for parents; reduced participation in the workforce and economic security for women; and lower rates of fertility that undermine long-term sustainability of government finances.
Investing in children and their caregivers represents an investment in human capital and potential that can create intergenerational change. Prioritising investment in evidence-based policies that ease the cost of living and optimally support children, parents and families is more critical than ever before.
Summary of Recommendations
Recommendation 1: Increase Paid Parental Leave (PPL) for parents and carers to 52 weeks, at a replacement wage, with super.
- Stage further increases to the PPL scheme up to 52 weeks, paid at a replacement wage rate, to be shared by both parents;
- Introduce a six-week ‘use it or lose it’ provision in the 26-week PPL scheme to encourage greater shared caregiving by both parents, and specifically to incentivise men to access PPL;
Extend the superannuation guarantee to PPL
Recommendation 2: Make quality, inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) universally accessible to all families and children, delivered by a properly paid and supported workforce, for all families and children.
- Immediate implementation of an interim 10% wage supplement for all educators and carers working in the ECEC sector, and swift and comprehensive action to address the current workforce crisis in ECEC;
- Abolish the Activity Test;
- Build towards universal access for all children to at least three days of quality, inclusive ECEC;
- Work towards equitable access to ECEC in regional, rural and remote communities.
Recommendation 3: Reverse the motherhood penalty and support parents and caregivers through family-inclusive workplace policies.
- Implement the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce’s (WEET) 10-year plan to unleash the full capacity and contribution of women to the Australian economy;
- Address the pay and superannuation gap;
- Support parents and caregivers through family-inclusive workplace policies.
Further investing in policies that value the role and function of parenting and caring, provide support that enables parents, particularly mothers, to combine paid work with caring responsibilities, and recognise the development and wellbeing of children as a national priority.
It will underpin sustainable and inclusive economic growth, lift living standards, improve child development and deliver a healthier, safer and stronger nation.
You can find our submission here (PDF).