Chief Executive Women welcomes expansion of Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks

Chief Executive Women welcomes the Albanese Labor Government’s announcement to boost Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave (PPL) from 18 weeks to 26 weeks.

CEW has long advocated for a package of reforms, of which PPL is a critical lever, in unlocking women’s workforce participation and boosting the economy. The increase to 26 weeks paid parental leave, designed with maximum flexibility for families, will encourage more equitable care giving by both parents.

CEW President Sam Mostyn AO said, “Chief Executive Women welcomes the expansion of paid parental leave as beneficial for women, for families, for children and for the economy.”

“Along with more affordable early education and care and commitments to safety in all workplaces, this reform is an important step in closing the workforce participation gap and building a more equal Australia for all.”

“Today, almost 90% of parental leave in Australia is taken by women. We are pleased to see that the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce will examine the mix of flexible weeks in PPL model to encourage more men to take up parental leave. This will help normalise flexible work and shared care responsibilities, while unlocking women’s workforce participation and boosting the economy,” Mostyn said.

The Grattan Institute estimates expanding the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave scheme to 26 weeks could cost the government an extra $600 million a year. However, this investment would boost GDP by $900 million a year in increased workforce participation by mothers and boost the average mother’s lifetime earnings by $30,000.[i]

[1]. Grattan Institute, Danielle Wood & Owain Emslie, 2021, Dad days: how more gender-equal parental leave would improve the lives of Australian families, https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Dad-Days-Grattan-Institute-Report.pdf.