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Unions will work with business over unfair cuts to paid parental leave

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Unions will work with business over unfair

cuts to paid parental leave

Unions will work together with business to combat attempts by the Abbott

Government to strip away paid parental leave from 80,000 Australian families.

Around a thousand union delegates from around the country have voted to

work with employers, community and women’s groups to lobby MPs to oppose

any reduction in employees’ access to the government paid parental leave

scheme at the triennial ACTU Congress in Melbourne today.

The Congress also voted to defend all employees’ rights to access the

government scheme as well as any entitlements achieved in bargaining,

including working with employers to ensure they are able to continue their

commitment to supporting women and employees with caring responsibilities.

The current universal paid parental leave scheme introduced by the previous

government was designed as a basic scheme for parents that would be

complemented by more generous employer schemes taking womens’ wages

up to their full salary.

To suggest that women are double dipping completely misrepresents the

nature and design of the scheme.

Under the Abbott Government’s budget proposal almost half of new mothers

will be left without access to government-funded paid parental leave.

Access to paid parental leave is beneficial for families, provides support for

women with caring responsibilities and will encourage women’s participation in

the workforce.

A government that genuinely has the interests of Australian families at heart

would not hold them to ransom in this way.

Australian Unions support a paid parental leave scheme that provides 26

weeks leave at full pay including superannuation payments.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“Unions and business have differing opinions on many issues but paid parental

leave isn’t one of them.

“Over coming weeks we will discuss in more detail how we can work together

to oppose cuts that will leave almost half of new mothers without access to

government funded paid parental leave.

“To say women are double dipping fundamentally misrepresents the paid

parental leave scheme which was always intended to complement employer

based entitlements.

“A government that cares about supporting Australian families wouldn't force an

impossible choice between parental leave, family support payments and

childcare upon them.”

Visit the ACTU website for all ACTU media releases.

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