Bold ideas are missing from both Labor and Coalition parental leave offers, at the exact moment they are needed.
In 2010, then opposition leader Tony Abbott announced his intention to introduce a “world-class” paid parental leave (PPL) program, which would give mothers access to six months of effective wages. It was to replace Australia’s first parental leave program, which was in place at the time and included only 18 weeks of minimum wage pay. While there is a lot of criticism that can be leveled at Abbott, his parental leave proposal was bold.
This was the last bold idea our politicians had regarding parental leave.
Our current 18 week program has just changed since its introduction 12 years ago. Considering that Australia was one of the last OECD countries to receive a PPL scheme – and that it remains one of the least generous – we need to go back to bold ideas. Unfortunately, the current election race has failed to inspire.
Read more about what the major parties are actually offering in family support.
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