General policy statement
This Bill extends paid parental leave to 26 weeks, which supports the WHO recommendation that exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age.
The ability for parents to choose to care for newborn babies is an essential part of supporting families to develop nurturing relationships.
Extending paid parental leave from the current entitlement of 14 weeks to 26 weeks would support families and also create jobs across the economy as employers engage staff to replace those on paid parental leave.
As the majority of paid parental leave is uplifted by women, it has the added benefit of creating jobs in areas of the economy where women work, while supporting families and the well-being of children.
This Bill recognises the fiscal implications of this additional entitlement, by staging the implementation of 26 weeks paid parental leave over the course of 3 years, adding an additional entitlement of 4 weeks from 2012–2014.
Clause by clause analysis
Clause 1 is the Title provision.
Clause 2 provides for the Bill to come into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.
Clause 3 states that the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 is the principal Act.
Clause 4 sets out the purpose of the Bill.
Clause 5 provides for the amendment of section 71J of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.