Paid parenting leave a reality
PAID parenting leave of $543pw for 18 weeks is one step closer to becoming a reality for Australian mums and dads after the House of Representatives this week voted to support a government-funded scheme.
Lana Bradfield, of Wollongbar, mother to Jasper, 5, and Myah, two weeks old, said she supported the scheme.
Ms Bradfield, a childcare worker, who worked until she was 37 weeks pregnant, said she would prefer to have a longer period at home with her baby, but she could not afford to this time.
“After I had Jasper, I had the full year (off) before I had to go back,” she said.
But this time circumstances may force the single mother back into the workforce when her new baby is six months old.
Ms Bradfield said such a scheme would make her situation easier.
Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin said paid parenting leave was something for which women had campaigned for a long time.
“We are committing to making women’s lives a bit easier,” Mr Saffin said.
The scheme is expected to go before the Senate during this session, which ends on June 24.
Family tax benefits and the baby bonus will still be available for families not eligible for the scheme.
The scheme will be available to the primary carer of any baby born after January 1, 2011, providing the household income is below $150,000.
To be eligible parents must have worked continuously for 10 of the 13 months before the birth.
For more information visit: www.familyassist.gov.au
PAID PARENTING LEAVE FACTS
Paid Parenting Leave will provide the equivalent of the national minimum wage, $543.78 a week, for 18 weeks.
Families receiving parental leave pay will not receive the baby bonus.
For multiple births, the baby bonus may be paid for a second child or for additional children.
Parenting leave pay will be taxable income and will affect entitlement to Family Tax Benefit.