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Women want five years of work and family solutions.

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Jenny MacklinMP


A Labor Government will introduce paid maternity leave and push for a sea change in the policies that support parents combing their work and family responsibilities, Jenny Macklin said today at the 2002 ALP Women’s Conference in Canberra.

“Combining work and family depends too much on individuals’ ability to negotiate a good deal for them selves.

“We need to move away from a random, luck-of-the draw approach to work and family.

“What women need are real options and solutions certainly for the first five years of their child’s life.

“Our policies must recognise that women need different assistance at different phases of their family lives.

“By the time children are three, nearly 70 per cent of mothers are back in the workforce.

“Women need a five-year solution -a five-year solution that is family-work-friendly. Instead of parents turning themselves inside out to meet their family and work responsibilities, we need to give them a spread of options that give them solutions.

“Family-work-options will require significant changes in policy and attitude. To become family-work-friendly we need to develop more responsive models of parental leave and income support and improve access to high quality, affordable childcare.

“Options like longer unpaid leave with guaranteed job security, part-time work, working from home, job sharing should also be thrown into the mix.

“This is what a modern industrial relations agenda includes.

“It is time for a sea change and Simon Crean’s call for Australian women to finally join other women across the developed world and gain access to paid maternity leave demonstrates Labor is already leading the reforms.”

More information: Jenny Macklin 0419 593 622; Joanna Brent 0408 473 278

29 APRIL 2002

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Employment, Education, Training & Science

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