October 26, 2016

The Turnbull Government’s unfair cuts to paid parental leave should be completely rejected – not delayed, but rejected. 

The truth is that Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to paid parental leave will mean that around 80,000 new mums each year will be worse off by up to $12,000.

If Malcolm Turnbull gets his way new mums will be forced to choose between returning to work early and missing out on time with their newborn, or staying at home and having their living standards drastically reduced.

Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t get how hard it is for so many young families across Australia.

$12,000 might not sound like much to Malcolm Turnbull, but for a hard-working young family it can make a huge difference to their household budget. 

The current paid parental leave scheme gives eligible new parents 18 weeks’ pay at the National Minimum Wage. This is a modest and affordable scheme that targets assistance to women on low and middle incomes.

Labor’s scheme was always intended to be combined with employer provided leave, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.

The scheme is means tested on the income of the primary carer, usually the mother, at $150,000 a year. The means test applies to the mother’s income only because the scheme is designed as an entitlement for working mums to allow them time off work to bond with their newborn baby and encourage their ongoing workforce participation.  

More than 75 per cent of parents receiving the Government’s paid parental leave scheme are on incomes of less than $70,000 a year.

Recent analysis from the Economist shows the Australia’s paid parental leave is modest by international standards and any cuts to new mum’s will be a backward step for Australia.

Even businesses have slammed Mr Turnbull’s planned cuts to paid parental leave. Yesterday the Western Australian Chamber of Commerce, CEO, Deidre Willmott warned that businesses could cut back their own employer paid parental leave arrangements.

Labor will continue to protect paid parental leave for young families.



As a result of Mr Turnbull’s cuts to paid parental leave a retail worker who gets 8 weeks paid leave from her employer will only have access to 10 weeks from the government instead of 18. This means:


  • She only has 18 weeks of paid leave at home instead of 26 weeks (experts recommend mums need 6 months at home caring for their newborn)
  • She loses more than $5,300 in support (8 weeks at the minimum wage of $672).