This week was a bit of a non-event on the campaign trail. By now, you are probably totally sick of the whole thing. It might be hard to see how any of it impacts on your daily life.
Following the terrible events in Orlando this week, I’m sure many of you reflected on the madness of American gun laws and the ‘right to bear arms’. Every time a dreadful crime such as this takes place, I’m grateful that in Australia, a person filled with hate can’t simply walk into a shop, and walk out with a semi automatic rifle.
In that regard, politics does matter. It matters to us every day, especially when it all just passes us by. There are things we take for granted in Australia that we should be very grateful for.
Given it was a fairly quiet week out on the hustings, I thought I’d have a look at a key issue for anyone who is pregnant or planning to have a baby.
Last week we looked at the childcare policies announced during the election campaign, but what about Paid Parental Leave? What's going on there?
To understand the PPL policies, we need to go back to 2011, when Labor first introduced the scheme which remains in place today. Stay with me here, the whole thing is convoluted - I know when I was pregnant I could sleep standing up.
The current scheme is 18 weeks paid at the minimum wage ($656 before tax per week.)
To be eligible, you need to have worked for ten of the past thirteen months, accumulating 330 working hours (a bit more than a day each week for ten months.)
In 2013, Dad and Partner Pay was also introduced so that dads or partners of primary carers could bond and spend time with their baby. This is two weeks leave paid at minimum wage and this remains in place.
Labor introduced the current PPL scheme, not to replace existing arrangements with your employer, but to complement work based arrangements. The World Health Organisation recommends six months of exclusive breast feeding, so workplace schemes are still very important - the Government scheme was never intended to diminish hard-fought workplace maternity leave entitlements.