Don't cut new parents' time at home with their babies
UPDATE: The Turnbull government have had to shelve their plans to cut parental leave under this parliament, meaning parents' paid time at home is safe for the time being! But Social Services Minister has also said that this doesn't mean the government are stepping away from their changes, which means cuts to paid parental leave are now shaping up as an election issue.
You may remember that in the days before Christmas the Turnbull government made a new attempt to cut paid parental leave, and slash the time thousands of new parents will be able to afford to spend at home caring for their new baby.
Expert analysis commissioned by Fair Agenda members shows that these proposed cuts would hit nurses, ambos, teachers and retail workers hard; and leave women in the scenarios modelled with only enough parental leave to cover 7 - 13 weeks of living costs while caring for their newborn baby. That's less than half of the 26 weeks experts recommend for both a mother and baby's health and welfare.
The good news is: our campaign is working. Consistent community pressure has now stopped two attempts to cut parental leave. Now, we have to keep up the pressure, making this an election issue - and preparing to block these proposals in the next Senate, if a Coalition government is returned.
Can you help stop attacks on new parents' paid time at home? Sign the petition to join the campaign.
Find out more about the new cuts
When the cuts were first proposed Fair Agenda members chipped in to fund expert modelling on the expected impact of the cuts. The report, conducted by the Women and Work Group at The University of Sydney can be downloaded here.
Don't have time to read the full report? Here are the key takeaways...
The recommended period of leave a new parent is supposed to spend with a newborn is around 26 weeks.2
Right now new parents can access a combined package made up of government provided leave (18 weeks of income at the minimum wage), which they then have the option of topping up with any parental leave they have provided by their employer. This system was deliberately designed to be used in combination - to help lengthen the period of time a new parent can afford to care for and nurture their new baby.
Under the new proposal, the government wants to turn the current 18 weeks of support it provides to eligible parents in this combined package from a minimum floor, to a ceiling - deducting the number of weeks leave provided by an employer from a new parent's government provided leave. This will slash the paid time at home thousands of new parents can access, and the time they can afford to care for their newborn baby.
In short, these cuts would be terrible for families and for our community. That's why it's critical we work together to stop them. Join us!
2. Productivity Commission Inquiry Report, Paid Parental Leave: Support for Parents with Newborn Children, February 2009, reference 2.41