Diversity Council Australia weighs in on Paid Parental Leave changes

The Diversity Council Australia has welcomed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement that the Government would shelve the expanded Paid Parental Leave scheme.

The Diversity Council Australia has welcomed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement that the Government would shelve the expanded Paid Parental Leave scheme in favour of reforms focusing on improving access to and affordability of childcare. 

 

Diversity Council Australia CEO Lisa Annese said one of the biggest factors affecting the participation of female employees in organisations is childcare.

 

“In a survey of our employer member organisations in 2014, nearly 95 per cent of employers said access to and availability of affordable childcare presented difficulties for their employees,” Annese said. “There is no doubt that this is a major disincentive to women participating more fully in the workforce.”

 

While agreeing that Paid Parental Leave (PPL) is important, Annese said childcare is a bigger issue for employers.

 

“The existing government funded PPL scheme provides a very important safety net for new parents. However, as suggested by the Productivity Commission and in line with feedback from our members, we support the Government’s plan to direct funds allocated for the expanded PPL scheme towards improving accessibility and affordability of childcare, as this is likely to have a greater positive impact on the workforce participation of women.

 

“DCA encourages the Government to ensure that an emphasis on workplace flexibility is promoted and supported as a critical part of maintaining progress on workplace gender equity and supporting parents with younger children to remain in paid work.”

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