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Posts Tagged ‘sex discrimination commissioner’

The Rudd Government has asked the Productivity Commission to examine ways the federal government can provide improved support for parents and their newborns. This involves several facets but most significantly  opening up the case for paid maternity, paternity and parental leave. (Terms of reference here).

We must keep the momentum going, there will be lots of counter-arguments that we can’t afford such a scheme even though all other OECD countries can (bar the United States of America which is as slow as us). Public hearings are being held and submissions are being sought. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick is supporting, as a minimum, a government-funded 14 week paid maternity leave scheme paid with two weeks paid paternity leave, at the level of the federal minimum wage. She has a post on her campaign here, it might be worth adding a comment of support.

I’ve talked about maternity leave before, so to quote my lazy self:

I know maternity leave can divide some mothers because there are lots of expenses faced by parents in addition to maternity leave but remember this –

  • we as a society have children, but it is women and only women who have to leave the workforce to give birth and provide the baby’s first nurturing and who consequently suffer that loss of income and workplace entitlements;  
  • Australia and the United States are the only two OECD countries left without a national maternity leave scheme (so you know, other countries are managing to provide this scheme without their economies falling apart or mass sackings of women by discriminatory employers);
  • not all working mothers are well-paid mothers, some are working poor and they are most likely to be without paid maternity leave; 
  • birth and caring for a baby are extraordinarily exhausting (but also special) experiences and all working women, not just the ones in a good negotiating position deserve the right to recover from and enjoy these times.   

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