The Australian Services Union Victoria, Private Sector Branch has strongly condemned the Federal Government’s planned cuts to Paid Parental Leave in a move that will see around 80,000 working mothers lose support.
The ASU says that the government’s $967.7 million cuts will mean that tens of thousands of mothers will be left without any government support, leaving nearly half of new mothers worse off.
“This government has turned its back on working mothers,” said Ingrid Stitt, ASU Victorian Branch Secretary, “This policy sends a clear message to working mothers that as far as this government is concerned, they’re on their own.”
“This government came to power promising a new and stronger paid parental leave scheme. Now they have not simply broken this promise but plan to actually scrap the current Paid Parental Leave funding and as a result working mothers are going to be much, much worse off.
“This policy will mean that many working mothers won’t have the choice of taking much time off work to spend with their children. With the added financial pressure thanks to the government withdrawing its support we expect many women will have to return to work much sooner and will miss out on time with their newborns.
“The ASU is extremely concerned at the government’s claims that mothers receiving government support are somehow “double dipping”. This claim shows the government has absolutely no understanding of the needs of working mothers or of the pressures facing Australian families.
“The government Paid Parental Leave scheme was always designed to compliment workplace paid entitlements not discount one against the other.
“A strong, stable paid parental leave policy is the mark of a fair and equal society. Cutting paid parental leave will act to further undermine women’s rights and will reinforce women’s inequality in our society.
“The World Health Organisation’s standard for paid parental leave is 26 weeks, this government decision sees us moving further away than ever from this standard.
“This government has again turned it’s back on working women. This is a disgraceful policy and will see Australian working mothers much worse off,” said Ms Stitt.