As Chairperson for the Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia (WELA), I’ve been heavily involved in preparing a submission for the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Paid Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave.
The WELA strongly supports introducing industrial based, paid maternity leave as soon as possible with three clear arguments supporting this proposal:
1. Financial reasons for maintaining income in households around the time of birth rather than decreasing it by the loss of an income earner;
2. Physical/emotional needs that arise from the birth and attachment/breast feeding processes that require time out from the paid workforce;
3. The need to promote workforce attachment through a payment linking workers’ care roles with their employment that affirms ongoing commitments and connections with workplaces.