In its submission to the Federal Government’s review of Paid Parental Leave, Unions NSW is calling for a paid parental leave model that varies from both the Federal Government and Federal Opposition schemes.

The Unions NSW submission calls to extend the Paid Parental Leave scheme to six months and offer wage replacement up to the average wage level of $72,400 per annum.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said the government could fund the scheme up to the minimum wage level, while employers could pay a levy into a pool to fund the top-up wage replacement payments up to $72,400.

“We believe that Tony Abbott’s scheme disproportionately advantages the wealthy at the government’s expense,” Mr Lennon said.

“However, we also believe that the current scheme of three months’ leave at minimum wage could certainly be fairer to working women.

“By legislating for the current scheme this federal government has taken the most significant step on paid parental leave in 40 years and we congratulate them for it.

“However, Unions NSW believes there is certainly room for improvement, particularly to make it more available for low to middle income earners who can then afford to take the entire six months off. “Many families are currently finding it extremely difficult to afford taking parental leave paid at the minimum wage. We believe we can relieve that pressure without taking the sort of unbalanced measures proposed by Tony Abbott.”

The Unions NSW submission also calls for Partner Pay to be increased to four weeks (up from two.) It also calls for superannuation be paid on all Paid Parental Leave payments.

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