Paid Parental Leave is at last legal. In June 2007, WEL, with other women’s organisations agreed that an expert committee be set up to implement the policy taking into account those mothers who are self employed or who do not have paid work.
Attachment to the workforce results in long term benefits both for women and their families and also for the economy. Paid Parental leave allows women time to bond with their infants enhancing positive child development. WEL is also concerned that women have access to super and do not retire to poverty.
Paid Parental Leave is supported by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner, John von Doussa who told Channel 10 viewers in May 2007 that it is time Australia acted. He said that Australia was out of step with the OECD nations– Australia and the US are the only countries which do not have compulsory paid maternity leave. Women, he said, in Australia are being punished for having children.