Included in the Second Women’s Economic Security Package is $90.3 million over three years from 2020–21 for concessional work test arrangements for Paid Parental Leave in response to COVID-19.
In particular, the government is relaxing the Paid Parental Leave work test for births and adoptions that occur between 22 March 2020 and 31 March 2021 to allow parents to qualify for the payment if they have worked in 10 of the last 20 months, instead of 10 of the last 13 months, preceding the birth or adoption of a child.
$47.9 million will be allocated over four years from 2020–21 to increase grants for the Women’s Leadership and Development Program, including funding for the Academy of Enterprising Girls and Women Building Australia.
Another $35.9 million has been earmarked over five years from 2020–21 (including $6.5 million in 2024–25) to increase the number of co-funded grants to women-founded start-ups under the Boosting Female Founders Initiative and to provide access to expert mentoring and advice for women entrepreneurs.
Further, the government announced $25.1 million over five years from 2020–21 (including $3.0 million in 2024–25) to establish a Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Industry Cadetship Program to support 500 women working in STEM industries to complete an advanced diploma through a combination of study and work-integrated learning experiences.
In addition, there’s $14.5 million over four years from 2020–21 to extend or expand existing initiatives that support girls and women to gain STEM skills and capabilities, including the Women in STEM Ambassador, the Women in STEM Entrepreneurship Grants Program and the Girls in STEM Toolkit.
$24.7 million will be invested over four years from 2020–21 to streamline the servicing arrangement of ParentsNext and modify the eligibility to provide assistance to parents most in need.
Further, $2.1 million over three years from 2020–21 will go towards establishing a [email protected] Council to assist in addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.
“The 2020 Women’s Economic Security Statement will create more opportunities and choices for women, not just for the recovery but for generations ahead,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.