23/01/2007 - 22:00

Parental leave

23/01/2007 - 22:00

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The Australian Labor Party is considering a plan to extend maternity leave from 12 months to two years and giving parents the right to request part-time work when they return to their jobs.

Parental leave

The Australian Labor Party is considering a plan to extend maternity leave from 12 months to two years and giving parents the right to request part-time work when they return to their jobs. Do you think this would be good for your industry/workplace?

Heather Zampatti (Bell Potter Securities head of wealth management)

“In my profession, taking two years out would be very hard. This job does not lend itself to taking a large amount of time off and it is one of the main reasons why there are so few women in the industry. It would be nice if there was more flexibility and perhaps there could be more of a team approach to managing clients, but at the moment that is not happening.”

Patti Chong (lawyer)

“Employ-ers should be encouraged to provide part-time work oppor-tunities to parents. However, a policy that extends maternity leave up to two years and giving parents the right to request part-time work may place unfair and possibly unreasonable constraints on industry. Any future policies would need to create an appropriate balance between a desire amongst employers to have full-time employees and a desire for parents returning from maternity leave to get part time work.”

Lisa Scaffidi (WA director, CEDA)

“While it sounds excellent to consider offering parents the right to request part-time work when they return to work after having children, unless the impost and associated costs are to be shared by the government, many businesses will find it extremely difficult to accommodate this very worthwhile idea no matter how personally pro-family the business owners may be...I believe job flexibility is required in the 21st century, but [it should be] a joint government and business mechanism to reduce the financial burden.”

Kylie Radford (director, Morrison)

“I believe Labor needs to think more broadly and encourage more flexibility in the workplace so that mothers have the time and a suitable environment to continue breastfeeding or expressing milk, if necessary. Allowing a two-year maternity leave period would discourage the employment of women believed to be considering pregnancy. I also highly recommend and encourage part-time employment. Encouraging greater work-life balance is positive for everyone.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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