The Parenthood has welcomed the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ (ACTU) calls for federal government to incrementally increase Australia’s paid parental leave to 52 weeks by 2030, and allow for it to be shared between parents.
This reflects the long-standing position of The Parenthood and will be a key part of the discussion on women’s workforce participation when Executive Director Georgie Dent participates in the upcoming Jobs Summit.
A new report by the ACTU has found that increasing Australia’s paid parental leave to 52 weeks by 2030 would benefit the economy by $26 billion.
“Reforming paid parental leave is one of the key levers in a government’s toolkit to influence caring patterns set in homes and families. More equitable caring patterns are great for children and parents, improve women's economic security, help with workforce shortages and boost productivity,” The Parenthood Executive Director, Georgie Dent said.
“Families in Australia have access to the second least adequate paid parental leave policy in the developed world that perpetuates the situation where women are primary caregivers and men primary breadwinners.”
“By supporting parents to share the responsibilities of caregiving in the first year of a child’s life an adequate and equitable paid parental leave policy dismantles a key barrier to women’s workforce participation. Increasing paid parental leave to adequate levels enables more women to re-enter the workforce after having children and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
“We are seeing critical industries in the care economy face dire skills shortages, and at the same time our paid parental leave policies are making it incredibly difficult for the people who can address these shortages, re-enter the workforce.
“We know that more generous paid parental leave will not only benefit our economy, but also children, parents, carers and families. It is time for Australia to catch up to the rest of the world in providing it,” Dent said.