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Tuesday, 29 May 1973
Page: 2780


Mr LYNCH (Flinders) - The Maternity Leave (Australian Government Employees) Bill 1973 in essence provides for 12 weeks' maternity leave on full pay for all female Commonwealth public servants. It also provides for one week's paternity leave for all male Commonwealth public servants. The terms of the Bill emanate, in the first instance, from the Federal platform of the Australian Labor Party and, more recently, from tht policy speech of the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam). While the Opposition does not oppose the Bill it must emphasise that the Government, in its introduction of the Bill, used the terms of Convention No. 103 of the Internationa] Labour Organisation in a misleading manner. In order that that fact should be self-evident to the House I seek leave to have Articles (1.) to (7.) of Convention No. 103 incorporated in Hansard.


Mr SPEAKER - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows) -

Article 1

1.   This Convention applies to women employed in industrial undertakings and in non-industrial and agricultural occupations, including women wage earners working at home.

2.   For the purpose of this Convention, the term industrial undertaking' comprises public and private undertakings and any branch thereof and includes particularly:

(a)   mines, quarries, and other works for the extraction of minerals from the earth;

(b)   undertakingsin which articles are manufactured, altered, cleaned, repaired, ornamented, finished, adapted for sale, broken up or demolished, or in which materials are transformed, including undertakings engaged in shipbuilding, or in the generation, transformation or transmission of electricity or motive power of any kind;

(c)   undertakings engaged in building and civil engineering work, including constructional, repair, maintenance, alteration and demolition work;

(d)   undertakings engaged in the transport of passengers or goods by road, rail, sea, inland waterway or air, including the handling of goods at docks, quays, wharves, warehouses or airports.

3.   For the purpose of this Convention, the term non-industrial occupations' includes all occupations which are carried on in or in connection with the following undertakings or services, whether public or private:

(a)   commercial establishments;

(b)   postal and telecommunication services;

(c)   establishments and administrative services in which the persons employed are mainly engaged in clerical work;

(d)   newspaper undertakings;

(e)   hotels, boarding houses, restaurants, clubs, cafes and other refreshment houses;

(f)   establishments for the treatment and care of the sick, infirm or destitute and of orphans;

(g)   theatres and places of public entertainment;

(h)   domestic work for wages in private households; and any other non-industrial occupations to which the competent authority may decide to apply the provisions of the Convention.

4.   For the purpose of this Convention, the term agricultural occpations' includes all occupations carried on in agricultural undertakings, including plantations and large-scale industrialised agricultural undertakings.

5.   In any case in which it is doubtful whether this

Convention applies to an undertaking, branch of an undertaking or occupation, the question shall be determined by the competent authority after consultation with the representative organisations of employers and workers concerned where such exist.

6.   National laws or regulations may exempt from the application of this Convention undertakings in which only, members of the employer's family, as defined by national laws or regulations, are employed.

Article 2

For the purpose of this Convention, the term woman' means any female person, irrespective of age, nationality, race or creed, whether married or unmarried, and the term 'child' means any child whether born of marriage or not.

Article 3

1.   A woman to whom this Convention applies shall, on the production of a medical certificate stating the presumed date of her confinement, be entitled to a period of maternity leave.

2.   The period of maternity leave shall be at least twelve weeks, and shall include a period of compulsory leave after confinement.

3.   The period of compulsory leave after confinement shall be prescribed by national laws or regulations, but shall in no case be less than six weeks; the remainder of the total period of maternity leave may be provided before the presumed date of confinement or following expiration of the compulsory leave period of partly before the presumed date of confinement and partly following the expiration of the compulsory leave period as may be prescribed by national laws or regulations.

4.   The leave before the presumed date of confine ment shall be extended by any period elapsing between the presumed date of confinement and the actual date of confinement and the period of compulsory leave to be taken after confinement shall not be reduced on that account

5.   In case of illness medically certified arising out of a pregnancy, national laws or regulations shall provide for additional leave before confinement, the maximum duration of which may be fixed by the competent authority.

6.   In case of illness medically certified arising out of confinement, the woman shall be entitled to an extension of the leave after confinement, the maximum duration of which may be fixed by the competent authority.

Article 4

1.   While absent from work on maternity leave in accordance with the provisions of Article 3, the woman shall be entitled to receive cash and medical benefits.

2.   The rates of cash benefit shall be fixed by national laws or regulations so as to ensure benefits sufficient for the full and healthy maintenance of herself and her child in accordance with a suitable standard of living.

3.   Medical benefits shall include pre-natal, confinement and post-natal care by qualified midwives or medical practitioners as well as hospitalisation care where necessary; freedom of choice of doctor and freedom of choice between a public and private hospital shall be respected.

4.   The cash and medical benefits shall be provided either by means of compulsory social insurance or by means of public funds; in either case they, shall be provided as a matter of right to all women who comply with the prescribed conditions.

5.   Women who fail to qualify for benefits provided as a matter of right shall be entitled, subject to the means test required for social assistance, to adequate benefits out of social assistance funds.

6.   Where cash benefits provided under compulsory social insurance are based on previous earnings, they shall be at a rate of not less than two-thirds of the woman's previous earnings taken into account for the purpose of computing benefits.

7.   Any contribution due under a compulsory social Insurance scheme providing maternity benefits and tax based upon payrolls which is raised for the purpose of providing such benefits shall, whether paid both by the employer and the employees or by the employer, be paid in respect of the total number of men and women employed by the undertakings concerned, without distinction of sex.

8.   In no case shall the employer be individually liable for the cost of such benefits due to women employed by him.

Article 5

1.   If a woman is nursing her child she shall be entitled to interrupt her work for this purpose at a time or times to be prescribed by, national laws or regulations.

2.   Interruptions of work for the purpose of nursing are to be counted as working hours and remunerated accordingly in cases in which the matter is governed by or in accordance with laws and regulations; in cases in which the matter is governed by collective agreement, the position shall be as determined by the relevant agreement.

Article 6

While a woman is absent from work on maternity leave in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of this convention, it shall not be lawful for her employer to give her notice of dismissal during such absence, or to give her notice of dismissal at such a time that the notice would expire during such absence.

Article 7

1.   Any Member of the International Labour Organisation which ratifies this Convention may, by a declaration accompanying its ratification, provide for exceptions from the application of the Convention in respect of:

(a)   certain categories of non-industrial occupations;

(b)   occupations carried on in agricultural undertakings, other than plantations;

(c)   domestic work for wages in private households;

(d)   women wage earners working at home;

(e)   undertakings engaged in the transport of passengers or goods by sea.

2.   The categories of occupations or undertakings in respect of which the Member proposes to have recourse to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article shall be specified in the declaration accompanying its ratification.

3.   Any Member which has made such a declaration may at any time cancel that declaration, in whole or in part, by a subsequent declaration.

4.   Every Member for which a declaration made under paragraph 1 of this Article is in force shall indicate each year in its annual report upon the application of this Convention the position of its law and practice in respect of the occupations or undertakings to which paragraph 1 of this Article applies in virtue of the said declaration and the extent to which effect has been given or is proposed to be given to the Convention in respect of such occupations or undertakings.

5.   At the expiration of five years from the first entry into force of this Convention, the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall submit to the Conference a special report concerning the application of these exceptions, containing such proposals as it may think appropriate for further action in regard to the matter.







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