If you had a fragile ball of flesh that screamed at all hours of the night, would you like some paid time off, away from your work? That’s right, we’re talking about paid parental leave. At the moment, the Fair Work Commission has stated that the primary carer of a newborn or a newly adopted child can get 18 weeks of paid parental leave, while their partner only gets two weeks. But surely someone’s partner should get more than a school holiday’s worth of time to enjoy the miracle of life, right?
Well, Labor is considering helping these folks out by giving them 20 weeks of parental leave. The latest Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, told The Australian that such a deal might be on the table as this legislation is currently under review.
“Society has changed,” Rishworth said. “A lot more men do want to play a role. And a lot of men do say they want to be the primary caregiver for some period of time.”
Moreover, this move might actually be welcomed by the Liberals and the corporate sector. The Liberals will potentially support this idea, because it was originally their proposal and was even once budgeted. The corporate sector may also like it, as some places have already beaten the government to the punch and offered its employees more comprehensive parental leave packages than them.
The current paid parental leave system has recently come under criticism. The Guardian’s Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett went hard after this policy on June 20. She did this after her husband was able to take four months off from his work to help her take care of their newborn child.
She wrote: “He fed me, when I was struggling to feed the child, and sat in on more breastfeeding consultations than anyone should have to. He fed the baby, too, from bottles, right from the beginning… All dads should have this.”
Hopefully, if this 20-week plan comes to fruition, the primary carer policy will be bumped up by another two weeks, so both schemes are equal. After all, every parent deserves enough time with their children.