Media Release

Tony Abbott - The Coalition's paid parental leave scheme

The Coalition will help young families with a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme based on a replacement wage, rather than the minimum wage.

Click here to read our policy.

The Coalition’s scheme will provide mothers with 26 weeks of paid parental leave, at their actual wage or the national minimum wage (whichever is greater), plus superannuation. In contrast, Labor’s parental leave scheme is paid at 18 weeks minimum wage.

A fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme will strengthen the economy and provide much-needed assistance to families when they need it most.

Under the Coalition’s scheme, women on average salaries will be the big winners.

The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme will result in a woman earning the average full time salary of around $65,000 receiving $32,500 – and they will be around $21,300 better off under the Coalition’s scheme relative to Labor’s scheme.

Importantly, the Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme also includes superannuation. For example, a woman earning $65,000 who has two children when aged 26 and 29, will be around $50,000 (in today’s dollars) better off in retirement than under Labor’s scheme, which does not include superannuation.

Under our scheme, fathers will be eligible for two weeks out of the 26 weeks for dedicated parental leave at their actual wage or the national minimum wage (whichever is greater), plus superannuation.

We understand that for new families, there is no ‘leave’ from mortgages, power and fuel bills.

We are proud of this policy: it helps women, it helps families and it will strengthen the economy.

Australian men and women receive a replacement wage when they are on annual leave, sick leave and long service leave. We believe it is right for a mother to receive her full wage while on parental leave.

Of the more than 30 countries in the OECD offering a paid parental leave scheme, Australia is one of only two nations that fail to pay parental leave based on a replacement wage.

Our policy is consistent with recommendations from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and World Health Organisation that the minimum period of exclusive care and breastfeeding for a mother and her baby is six months.

It is also consistent with a Productivity Commission finding that there are benefits of paid parental leave in delivering lower long-term health costs and productivity benefits.

The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme will be administered through the Family Assistance Office and fully funded through a 1.5 per cent levy on companies earning more than $5 million in taxable income. This will affect only around 3,000 companies – less than one out of every 200 companies in Australia.

Those companies required to pay the levy will have this offset by the Coalition’s previously announced 1.5 per cent company tax cut.

Australian businesses will also benefit from improved workforce participation delivered as a result of this scheme.

The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme is part of our Real Solutions Planto build a stronger Australia and a better future for all Australians.