media release

June 10, 2010

Call for paid parental leave scheme to be amended to provide equity for all mums

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today called for the Federal Government’s paid parental leave scheme legislation to be amended to provide equity for all mums with newborns – regardless of whether they decide to work inside or outside the home.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace urged the Federal Opposition to amend the bill in the Senate so that women who choose to stay home to raise their children are not financially disadvantaged as they are under the Government’s scheme.

“Much of the debate about the paid parental scheme to date seems to have focused primarily on economic considerations, rather than recognising the social impacts of advantaging one group of mothers over another,” Mr Wallace said.

“The Australian Christian Lobby supports paid parental leave because it gives working mothers the opportunity to spend more time bonding with their new-born children.

“However, we believe that every new mother should be paid equally in recognition of the financial sacrifices all families make to raise children. Women shouldn’t be financially penalised by inequitable government payments to the tune of thousands of dollars if they stay home to care for their children.”

Mr Wallace urged the Opposition to consider the needs of all new mothers and make amendments to the paid parental leave scheme bill, which is set to be debated in the Senate next week.

“A non-discriminatory payment to all new mothers would value all women equally and better address the social aspects of the debate,” he said.