Claire Braund, Executive Director of Women on Boards, said:
"WOB particularly sought to ensure improved PPL for women whose employers do not provide PPL – most often in the small business and private sectors. WOB has a long history in advocating for PPL. It was part of a coalition that lobbied for universal PPL prior to its introduction in 2011 and defended the scheme against proposed changes under the Abbott Government in 2015.”
In 2017, WOB put forward a hybrid model that proposed 26 weeks legislated PPL with four weeks mandated for the partner once the 26 weeks was achieved (total 30 weeks). Where employees have access to employer schemes, these should be topped up by the government to the maximum weeks allowed (30 in total), rather than both schemes accessed in full.
Our contention at the time was that there was a lack of equity in an arrangement where many women receive only the Government funded PPL of 18 weeks at the minimum wage, while those with employer funded contributions can access both schemes.”
“There is now a strong argument that all parents – rather than the birth mother or adoptive parent – should be able to access all 26 weeks. The choice of who takes leave must remain with parents, however an additional four weeks for the other partner on a use-it-or lose-it-basis, will particularly support men who are seeking to be primary carers for their child.”
“If financial concerns are preventing the Australian Government from lifting PPL to the WHO global standard of 26 weeks + four mandated for the other parent, then a hybrid model remains a viable option. In this way parents working for companies without a PPL will be supported more fully by the Government than those with access to employer schemes."