By SCOTT LIMBRICK
The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme, first announced by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on International Women’s Day in 2010, has been both lauded and criticised as a “Rolls-Royce” scheme. But what is the difference between this and competing policies?
Labor’s more modest paid parental leave plan offers 18 weeks’ leave at minimum wage, currently around $622 a week before tax or just over $11,000 for the 18-week period.
Unlike the Coalition’s scheme, Labor’s policy is funded by general revenue. A review of this policy is currently underway but the results are unlikely to be announced until after the election.
· 18 weeks leave at $11,196 (equivalent to minimum wage)
· Funded by general revenue
· Two weeks of paid leave available to partners, also at minimum wage
· The Baby Bonus and Paid Parental Leave cannot be claimed for the same child
· Policy is currently under review but this will not be complete before election
· Claim that Coalition’s scheme would see wealthier women subsidised by poorer women
· If elected, Centrelink would cover costs of the scheme for small businesses (of less than 20 staff)
-Must be the primary carer of a newborn or recently adopted child
– Must have met the Paid Parental Leave work test
– Must meet residence requirements throughout the leave period
– Must have income of $150,000 or less in the previous financial year
– Must be on leave or not working throughout the leave period
– Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract, and self-employed workers may be eligible.
The Coalition’s policy offers mothers 26 weeks of leave on a full salary of up to $150,000 annually, or $75,000 for the six-month period. Funding for this arrangement is to come from a 1.5% levy on more than 3,000 of Australia’s largest companies, expected to be officially announced shortly.