The Federal Government today introduced draft laws to increase paid parental leave (PPL) to 26 weeks by 2026.
It comes after PPL was expanded from 18 to 20 weeks earlier this year.
If passed, the laws will gradually increase the number of weeks of PPL new parents can access.
Paid parental leave
About 180,000 families receive PPL every year. Almost all payments are redeemed by female parents.
Eligible parents need to have worked consistent hours prior to the birth or adoption of their child and meet an income test proving they require the payment.
The legislation also proposes adding four weeks of ‘concurrent’ leave for parents caring for the same child. It’s hoped this will help partners support birthing parents, and encourage both parents to take leave.
It is also aimed at increasing female workforce participation and addressing the ‘motherhood penalty’ — a key driver of gendered earning inequality in Australia.
Will it pass?
The Government introduced the PPL legislation in the House of Representatives on Thursday morning.
The Opposition said they will now consider the draft laws before coming to a public position.
The Government has a majority of seats in the Lower House, but not in the Senate. This means they’ll need some additional support to pass the measures.