12/06/2014 - 09:34

Cash defends PPL

12/06/2014 - 09:34

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Western Australian Senator Michaelia Cash has defended the government’s paid parental leave scheme as several Nationals senators say they will vote against it.

Cash defends PPL
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women Michaelia Cash. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Western Australian Senator Michaelia Cash has defended the government’s paid parental leave scheme as several Nationals senators say they will vote against it.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Cash said in Perth last Friday that the PPL scheme was designed to normalise parenting in the workforce.

The scheme aims to provide 26 weeks' payment of a woman’s salary plus superannuation, with total payments capped at $50,000.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development Australia event, Senator Cash said the scheme was the best way to value a woman and her earnings regardless of what those earnings were.

Nationals senators Ron Boswell, Barry O’Sullivan and John Williams said this week they would vote against the PPL scheme, putting it at risk of not passing the upper house.

In a statement to Business News today, Senator Cash called the scheme a workplace entitlement, not a welfare handout, after being asked how the coalition can afford the scheme as it seeks to pass austere budget measures.

Senator Cash has previously denied the scheme is too generous.

“Is our paid parental leave scheme an impost on the economy, or an investment,” she said.

“I say it is without a doubt an investment; it also, however, is an important part of normalising parenting in the employment sector and business world.”

Senator Cash said Western Australia lagged behind other states in having a culture that encouraged ongoing participation of women in the workplace.

“According to CEDA, less than 5 per cent of boardroom positions in Western Australia’s ASX 300 companies are held by women,” she said.

“The comparison with the national average is 13.9 per cent.

“The gender pay gap in WA has worsened with a 28 per cent difference last year compared with a 21 per cent difference in 2000 and the 17 per cent national average.

“As Western Australians we can and we must do better.”

 

 

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