The Federal Government's paid parental leave scheme is a sensible approach to an issue which has remained unresolved for too long, says Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) Chief Executive, Heather Ridout.
The new scheme, which provides payments to working mothers of 18 weeks at the level of the minimum wage, is outlined in an exposure draft of the Paid Parental Leave Bill, released earlier this month.
“It is consistent with the recommendations of the Productivity Commission and is largely consistent with Ai Group's proposals, says Ms Ridout.
"The introduction of an appropriately designed paid parental leave scheme will provide many benefits to the community, not least of which is increased participation by women in the workforce.”
Ms Ridout says increased participation is vital to address Australia's ageing population and growing skill shortages as the economy continues to recover.
"Ai Group has been heavily involved in the consultation process during the development of the Government's scheme and we are pleased that measures have been implemented to phase-in some of the administrative requirements upon employers, she says.
"Once the law has passed there will be a big task ahead to educate employers about the new requirements, given that most employees will receive their parental leave pay through their employer.
"Ai Group intends to study the exposure draft and provide a detailed response to the Senate Committee which is inquiring into the legislation."