The APSC is undertaking a review of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 that provides minimum paid parental leave entitlements for Commonwealth employees.

The CPSU welcomes this review as a chance to update the Act and bring it in line with modern expectations. When the Act was first introduced in 1973, it set a high standard for maternity leave entitlements providing the first formal entitlements to paid leave. However, today the Act is outdated and in need of significant revision to reflect the changing family structures and norms for managing family responsibilities and to promote gender equity in the Commonwealth public sector.

Since the Act was first introduced, the CPSU has campaigned for and won innovations in enterprise bargaining that have built on the minimum conditions in the Act to provide enhanced entitlements for our members including additional paid maternity leave, paid supporting partner leave and guaranteeing superannuation contributions during parental leave. It is important that this review builds on these wins to improve rights and doesn’t take any employee backwards.

This review is an opportunity to also ensure that both parents can access paid leave to care for children regardless of gender, and for leave to extend to foster and adoption arrangements.

To see CPSU’s full submission and recommendations to this review, you can read our submission here.