Families or future families, womens, community organisations and union members

Australia and the United States are the only industrialised nations without a system of universal paid maternity leave.

Even Tanzania pays all women 14 weeks paid maternity leave!

The World Health Organisation says women should breastfeed their children for 6 months.

The Productivity Commission and the Australian Government are currently considering introducing a system of paid maternity and paternity leave.

We believe that Australia should catch up with the rest of the world, and like Canada and the United Kingdom have a system of paid maternity leave that provides women (and or their partners if they choose) to have 6 months paid leave at full wage replacement, to be with their children in their first months of life.

Dear Kevin Rudd and the Productivity Commission

We believe that all Australian mothers should have access to six months paid maternity leave.

Six months paid maternity leave is essential to helping families achieve a work/life balance. Health experts agree. The World Health Organisation says that breast feeding exclusively for 6 months (provided the mother can) achieves optimal health results for babies. Six months paid maternity leave makes this possible for all women.

We ask for a legislated, government funded system of six months universal paid maternity leave, available to all mothers irrespective of whether they are casual, full time, contractors or stay at home mums. It should also be able to be accessed by parents who are assuming the primary carer role.

To provide for full wage replacement, the system needs to match the changes demanded of the contemporary workforce whom experts say may have five career changes in their life time. This could involve an employer contribution scheme similar to workers compensation or long service leave in the construction industry, where employers share responsibility for supporting this right at work.

This leave should include a base rate of pay, provided for by the government with full wage replacement to be aided by employers.

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The Six Months Paid Maternity Leave and 4 weeks Paid Paternity Leave petition to Families or future families, womens, community organisations and union members was written by Amanda Tattersall and is in the category Employment at GoPetition.