Pregnant? Changes to paid parental leave could take effect by January 2017

Mother holding young baby

When there’s a baby on the way and you’re planning to take a maternity leave, every cent of income counts. New changes to the paid parental leave scheme threaten that income, and could leave families as much as $12,000 worse off.

The new changes could come into effect as early as January 2017, which means that if you’re pregnant now or planning to conceive, these changes will affect you.

An estimated 80,000 women will be affected by the proposed changes, which reduce the 18 weeks of leave paid by government if a parent’s employer also offers paid leave.

“This is a direct attack on paid parental leave, a direct attack on those mothers who are trying to combine their work and family responsibilities and will leave thousands and thousands of new mothers in this country worse off,” Opposition families spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said, “Decreasing the income support for 80,000 new mums, Labor will never vote for this measure.”

“It is typical of the out-of-touch Turnbull government that on one hand, they’re taking a few thousand dollars off new mums who can’t afford that … but they want to give tens of thousands of dollars in tax cuts to millionaires,” he continued.

Executive Director Jo Briskey of parent advocacy group The Parenthood said in a statement, “While other countries are moving forward, our government wants to take us backwards – limiting the paid time new mums can have with their brand new baby.”

“What we don’t want is for mums to be forced back to work early when they simply aren’t ready,” Briskey said.

People are taking to social media to express their outrage.

@dr_krystal tweeted, “Are you serious?!? At 7 months pregnant, you’ve probably already made your maternity leave plans. Outrageous #PPL”

@sroeatling wrote, “Golly this paid parental leave policy. It’s like the Coalition is made up mostly of men.”


Are you pregnant? How will changes to paid parental leave affect your maternity leave plans?

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