The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) welcomes today’s recommendations from the review of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act.

The review, the first of its kind in more than 40 years, has been comprehensive and well-thought out.

While the CPSU, in its submission to the review had called for 26 weeks of paid Parental Leave, the union is pleased to see substantial and important improvements to current parental leave provisions in the review recommendations, including:

  • 18 weeks of paid Parental Leave available to both parents.
  • Six weeks additional paid Pregnancy Leave for the pregnant parent (bring the total paid leave for a pregnant employee to 24 weeks).
  • Parental Leave entitlements to be extended to adoption, and the ability to cover foster care in enterprise agreements.
  • Parental Leave that can be used flexibly within 24 months including in single days, blocks or to facilitate part-time working arrangement. Parents may take the leave concurrently or at separate times.
  • Continued access to full Parental Leave for the pregnant employee in cases of pregnancy loss from 20 weeks’ gestation and one-week paid leave for pregnancy loss where miscarriage occurs between 12 and end of 19 weeks’ gestation in addition to paid leave under the Fair Work Act.
  • Superannuation to be paid on all forms of Parental Leave.
  • Removal of qualifying service period for employees to access paid Pregnancy or Parental Leave.

These recommendations reflect important changes that are needed to keep up with the realities of modern parenting.

The government needs to be a model employer and set the standard for our nation. By adopting these review recommendations, the Albanese Government would allow Commonwealth employees to better make their own choices about parental roles and the division of caregiving responsibilities that suit their family circumstances.

The CPSU calls on the Albanese Government to adopt the review recommendations in full and to work with our union in ensuring parental leave rights are advanced for all APS employees in the current round of Commonwealth bargaining.

Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary:

“We all know that the way Australian families approach caregiving and share parental responsibilities has changed over time, and it is vital that workplace rights and leave provisions keep up with those changes.

“These review recommendations would mean Commonwealth parental leave provisions are better aligned with the realities of modern Australian families.

“By adopting these recommendations, the Albanese Government would deliver Commonwealth employees better flexibility to balance their work and family lives in a way that works for their own circumstances.”

Media contact: Liz Bower 0408 405 121