The issue of paid maternity leave (or lack thereof) has been back in the news this week and I have to say, as a woman without kids, I have only just looked into what all the fuss is about.
Surely a civilised, developed country like Australia has adequate paid maternity leave provisions? (I should remind you here that I’m a Pom). I try to avoid saying this as much as possible but WHERE I COME FROM, we do, and I think it’s only right.
I’ll also risk offending my fellow Brits (but what use is a blog if not to provoke a little controversy?) by being very unpatriotic and saying there’s not much that I think the UK does better than Australia. I’m not just here for the weather (especially not this week); I actually agree with the way a lot of things are done here compared to at home (these include immigration policy, compulsory superannuation contributions, public holidays and Cherry Ripes, among others).
So, when I actually read up on it I was about as stunned as when I read that, until last year, abortion was still a crime in Victoria.
Now the unions fear that the Federal Government could shelve its plans for a $500 million paid maternity scheme because of the global financial crisis (we’re blaming it for just about everything these days, after all). And while the easy argument is that this should have already been introduced decades ago, as a country of small businesses, there are a lot of people out there who would struggle to pay their contribution towards a part-taxpayer and part-employer-funded scheme.
COSBOA (the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia) continues to back the scheme however.
What do YOU think?