The Productivity Commission has released a draft inquiry report on paid maternity, paternity and parental leave.
The Commission proposes the introduction of a taxpayer-funded paid parental leave scheme that would:
– provide paid postnatal leave for a total of 18 weeks that can be shared by eligible parents, with an additional two weeks of paternity leave reserved for the father (or same sex partner)
– provide the adult minimum wage (currently $543.78) for each week of leave for most eligible employees, with benefits subject to normal taxation.
Businesses would also participate in the scheme by acting as ‘paymasters’ for the government-funded scheme, and by providing capped superannuation contributions for employees for the period of leave taken, but only for those employees who are eligible for such benefits before taking leave and who are entitled to unpaid leave.
The baby bonus would not be paid to employed parents using the scheme.
The closing date for submissions is Friday 14 November 2008.