Monday 7 November 2016
Nurses and Midwives call on all South Australian Senators to stop cuts to Australia’s paid parental leave scheme and to support a 6 month scheme
A move to cut publicly-funded paid parental leave (PPL) has attracted the ire of the country’s largest professional and industrial organisation, which has 250,000 members across Australia and close to 20,000 in South Australia alone.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) is calling on all South Australian senators to reject outright proposed changes to paid parental leave which will have a significant impact on families. These proposed changes would deny access to the Commonwealth Government’s paid parental leave scheme of up to 18 weeks, for Australian women who have some paid parental leave provided by their employer through an enterprise agreement.
“The Coalition promised that it would deliver a genuine scheme to give mothers six months’ leave based on their actual wage,” says ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM. ”Now, they plan to strip the current scheme back, in a further attack on working women and their families.”
“The Government scheme was designed to complement paid and unpaid leave arrangements negotiated by workers and their organisations to give new and adoptive parents the opportunity to spend up to 26 weeks at home with their baby,” Ms Dabars says.
“Access to six months PPL is widely accepted as optimal for the health and well-being of mothers, babies and their families – it allows women to bond with their babies, breast feed for longer and reduces the stress of returning to work earlier than planned, because of financial pressures”.
“Despite all the warnings from health professionals and against a recommendation from the World Health Organisation, the Government instead is seeking to take the axe to the Commonwealth paid parental leave scheme,” Ms Dabars says.
“At a time when the government is already predicting a looming major shortfall in the nursing and midwifery workforce, the proposed changes will only compound this situation, ultimately affecting health care delivery to the South Australian community.”
The ANMF (SA Branch) does not support the proposal to change the Government’s Paid Parental Scheme, we seek the support of all South Australian Senators to make sure that every new family can give their child the best possible start in life, by:
1. Not supporting this proposed legislation changes to Paid Parental Leave; and
2. Lobbying the Government to uphold its commitment to support a full paid SIX month Paid Parental Scheme.
Senator Xenophon, who controls a block of three votes, indicated this week that his party would not support the proposal in its current form but indicated he was still willing to negotiate with the Government.
ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary, Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars will be available for comment today at 12 pm at 191 Torrens Road, Ridleyton, SA 5008.
Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM, ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary - 0402 795 686