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Is Labor’s paid parental leave scheme “pathetic”? Why companies just offering the new government scheme will not be able to compete with those companies that step up and show they value their parent employees

It’s a historic achievement. It is effective as of January 1st 2011. And Dr Shaman Stone MP, shadow minister for the status of women, early childhood, education and childcare has slammed Australia’s first paid parental leave scheme “pathetic” – Dr. Stone: “I don’t why Australian women should have to wait for something that in the first instance is second best. Why is it that Australians, who have waited so long, should have a pathetic and cheapskate scheme introduced? Why not make the first step of PPL something that all new families can participate in?”

I would love to see this become an election issue. It should be. There is so much discussion around the women’s vote this election and enough of us have been disadvantaged, or expect to be in our careers when we have children that it could be. For many women, having children is a goal on par with having a stellar career, and I know that many women believe both should be achievable, and they aren’t mutually exclusive for men, so lets make it possible for women!

The Labor party has passed a bill that allows parents a maximum of 18 weeks leave at minimum wage, sponsored by the government. The Liberal party is offering a 24-week program at full pay, funded by employers.

This is a highly contentious issue, with real impact on business, women and families. This article explores the issue by covering the debate hosted by the Diversity Council Australia.

A highlight from the debate covered in the article:

“Can we not find a way to make it so complicated that we kill it? The more moving parts this has, the less people will want to touch it,” she said. “Australia has been schizophrenic as a community about this subject for years. We’ve wanted change but we’ve not been willing to fund it. Other countries have been much faster putting their money where their mouth is.”  – Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia

Get the complete article here.


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