The ACTU is backing the call by Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick for the Federal Government to include a paid maternity leave scheme in the May Budget.
Unions believe paid maternity leave is reasonable, affordable and will help boost the economy and spending.
Commenting on Ms Broderick’s speech to the National Press Club today, ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:
“We agree wholeheartedly that a paid maternity leave scheme will help women to build financial security for themselves and their families – it will help enormously during tough economic times.
“We know its is affordable, will create jobs, boost tax revenue and have other spinoffs for employers who will be able to keep valuable staff.
“It also has other multiplier effects, and is a solution to some of economic pressures we face as a nation.”
Unions are keeping up the pressure on Parliamentarians in the lead up to the Federal Budget and a delegation of Tasmanian women will tomorrow travel to Melbourne to present a statement signed by 40 Tasmanian organisations who support Paid Maternity Leave.
“As Elizabeth Broderick said today, Australia is the last OECD nation without a legislated paid parental leave scheme,” Ms Burrow said.
“Australian women have been waiting 30 years for a national paid maternity leave scheme.
“After having their expectations raised, they will be bitterly disappointed if next month’s Budget does not establish a scheme.”