• Surrogate parents discriminated against due to lack of policy
  • 18 month campaign results in State Government cave in
  • Parents now have improved support and options 

When Karen discovered she had a medical condition preventing her from carrying a baby full term she decided to go down the road of surrogacy.

Having worked for the NSW Police Force for close to 15 years Karen assumed she would be entitled to the same level of paid parental leave as her colleagues regardless of how her child was brought into the world.  Disappointingly that was not the case.

“When I looked into my options I found my employer did not have a surrogacy policy. I was only entitled to the federal paid parental leave scheme that would leave me with inferior financial support and more importantly less time at home with my newborn.” 

Unions NSW was made aware of the problem by several affiliates, including the Teachers Federation. On multiple occasions, trade union members employed in the NSW public sector faced the frustration of not receiving paid parental leave, despite shouldering the responsibility of being the primary carer.

But following an 18 month campaign parents who use a surrogate to have a baby can now claim paid parental leave from the State Government.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said this is an important reform that prevents discrimination against families who have had a child through a surrogacy arrangement.

“Equality before the law is an enduring principle of trade unions, and one we will always fight for. 

“This brings NSW into line with Queensland, SA and the ACT but it’s important to note that this is only a first step. The NSW Government’s decision needs to be extended and expanded throughout the workforce and into the private sector as well.”

For more on this story check out coverage on ABC’s PM


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