November 08, 2016

Labor today formally confirmed its opposition to the Turnbull Government’s unfair cuts to paid parental leave. 

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.

Labor does not believe that new mums should 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 cut.

The Turnbull Government’s entire argument for cutting paid parental leave has been blown apart after it was revealed that just 0.6% or 788 people claiming paid parental leave have incomes of $140,000 or greater.

New analysis from the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association shows that new mums working in retail for employers like Bunnings, Woolworths and Coles will be thousands of dollars worse off.

Australia’s 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 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.  

The current paid parental leave is modest by international standards, highly targeted and affordable.

Labor will continue to protect young families by opposing the Turnbull Government’s cuts to paid parental leave.



Employer-funded entitlement (under an EBA, contract of employment or policy)

Consequences of the proposed Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2016


8 weeks on completion of 12 months service split in to 2 payments, 4 on commencement of leave and 4 Return to Work (RTW) bonus upon completion of 6 months service after return.

Payment of Super on PPL (1st 4 weeks)

  • Initial loss of equivalent to 4 weeks on commencement of leave at National Minimum Wage (NMW) currently $672.70 per week - $2690.80
  • Potential loss of 4 week RTW bonus after completing 6 months service after returning from parental leave – which represents a further loss of up to $2690.80


8 weeks split into 2 payments, 6 weeks PPL on commencement of leave, 2 weeks RTW bonus on return

Payment of Super on initial 6 weeks PPL

  • Initial loss of equivalent to 6 weeks PPL at NMW on commencement of leave - $4036.20
  • Potential loss of 2 weeks RTW bonus depending on how a change in legislation would treat a RTW bonus – another loss of up to $1345.40


12 weeks split into 2 payments, 6 weeks PPL plus 6 weeks RTW payment.

Superannuation paid on PPL

  • Initial loss of equivalent to 4 weeks at NMW - $4036.20
  • Potential loss of 4 weeks RTW – up to $4036.20 depending on how a change in legislation would treat a RTW bonus


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