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A rollercoaster is no place for a newborn - a brief history of the Coalition’s paid parental leave policy

15 January 2016 By ASU

Research released this week showing low paid workers being affected by massive cuts to their take home Paid Parental Leave (PPL) has rightly angered many. The Coalition has treated this policy area disgracefully for years and this latest research has prompted us to revisit the rollercoaster ride we've been on with them. Australians starting or extending their families deserve better than this - if you can't improve the current PPL arrangements, Mr Turnbull, then just leave them alone!

160115-rollercoaster-no-place-for-newborn-mr-turnbull-800pxwThe recently released research was conducted by the University of Sydney and was widely reported in the Fairfax media: Low paid workers $10,000 worse off under Turnbull parental leave cuts: research, by Fergus Hunter, The Age & SMH, 14 January 2016

It shows that low paid workers could lose around $10,000 if the latest Federal Government Paid Parental Leave (PPL) version is passed into law.This was not news to the ASU - see below for more.

Where we are currently with the Coalition Government, however, is not the same place we were at before the last federal election. Many will remember Tony Abbott's extravagant promise. Do we all remember the Coalition's policy before that? How about the way the policy came tumbling down in the years following the election of this Coalition Federal Goverment?

We thought it would be instructive to have a look at the rollercoaster ride the Coalition has taken the Australian community on.

Click on this infographic for a larger version or you can download it as a PDF: icon A rollercoaster is no place for a newborn - a brief history of the Coalition’s paid parental leave policy


 To all those people who have tried to plan their families, when to start them, when to extend them, how much they need to save, how much time will they be able to take off, etc, they are the ones who have borne the brunt of this disgraceful approach to such a critical policy area. The veering from one extreme to another would have wrought havoc on family budgets, let alone the direction we are heading in which sees newborns having less time with their primary carers as PPL provisions are slashed.

Latest research on PPL cut impact mirrors ASU modelling from 2015

The University of Sydney research mirrors the modelling done by the ASU last year showing how a worker on a salary of $40,000 per year could lose up to $11,824 if they have the "misfortune" of working for an employer who offers paid parental leave!

Click on the next image for a larger version or read about it in more detail here: Valuing families & the next generation means maintaining & improving fair time to care.



Take action to save paid parental leave

The ASU and the union movement in general is campaigning hard to protect the current national PPL provisions in place since 2011, a modest scheme by OECD world standards, but one which nonetheless successfully allowed more new parents to spend the quality time with their newborns that can make a huge difference to their development. We have employer PPL in many workplaces and a national scheme of PPL because members of the ASU fought hard for it for many decades. Help us save it for future generations of workers and along the way, improve it, too.

  1. SIGN THE PETITION calling on the Senate to reject the Federal Government's backflip on paid parental leave --> SIGN HERE


  3. SHARE THIS ARTICLE ONLINE with your Facebook or other social media network - this is a powerful way to spread the message widely - use this link:

  4. DOWNLOAD ONE OR ALL OF THESE PPL FLYERS to circulate to family, friends, colleagues and neighbours:

    icon ASU-Paid Parental Leave flyer with ASU case studies
    icon ASU-Paid Parental Leave Fact Sheet
    icon A rollercoaster is no place for a newborn - a brief history of the Coalition’s paid parental leave policy

  5. BUILD A BETTER FUTURE. Join the Australian Unions' campaign for the Federal election to fight for our living standards --> SIGN UP



Contact Details
Name: ASU National Office
Telephone: 03 9342 1400