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Valuing Parenthood - Appendices

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Valuing Parenthood - Options for Paid Parental Leave: Interim Paper 2002

Appendices

Appendix A: Technical Appendix

A.1 Introduction

This Appendix sets out currently available information describing women's labour force participation and the ways in which women combine work and family responsibilities in Australia. The Appendix also includes information about existing maternity and parental leave arrangements to provide a background to discussing any future paid maternity leave scheme.

A.2 Statistical overview

There remains a serious lack of statistical information available about maternity, family responsibilities and work arrangements. As can be seen below, some of the available research is also outdated and limited in scope.

A.2.1 Women, work and children in Australia

A.2.1.1 Women and work
  • In August 2001, 55 per cent of women aged 15 and over participated in the labour force, [213] making up 44 per cent of the overall labour force. [214]
  • Women's labour force participation rate in August 2001 was over 70 per cent for women aged 20-54 years. [215]
  • In August 2001, 55 per cent of employed women worked in full time employment and 45 per cent worked in part time employment. [216]
  • In 2000, women constituted 73 per cent of all part time employees. [217]
  • Casual workers comprised 27 per cent of the Australian workforce in 2000. [218] Thirty two per cent of all women employed in 2000 were employed on a casual basis (ie without leave entitlements). [219]
  • An ABS survey in 2000 found that women were almost twice as likely as men to be employed on a casual basis, with 25 per cent of female jobholders and 13 per cent of male jobholders identifying their work as casual. [220]
  • In August 1998, women made up 60 per cent of the casual workforce. [221]
A.2.1.2 Women and childbirth
  • There were 249 600 births registered in Australia during 2000. [222]
  • In 2000, Australia's total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.75 babies per woman. [223]
  • Australia's TFR has varied over time. The replacement rate, that is the number of children each woman would need to have to maintain the current population size, is estimated at 2.1 per woman. [224] The actual fertility rate has trended down over the last part of the twentieth century. The TFR was 1.91 in 1990, 1.90 in 1980, 2.9 in the early 1970s, 3.5 in 1961, 2.1 in the 1930s and 3.1 during the early 1920s. [225] While the 2000 rate is similar to the 1999 rate, it represents a significant decrease on previous TFRs. [226]
  • Women are most likely to have children when they are between the ages of 30 and 34. [227] A significant majority of children are born to mothers aged 25-34. [228]
  • The fertility levels of women appear to be inversely related to their attachment to the labour force, educational attainment and income, with this relationship strongest among younger women. [229]
  • For women aged 30 years and over, more than one third of women (36 per cent) who earned more than $52 000 per year had not had any children. These high earners had an average of 1.6 children compared to 2.3 for all women in the 30 and over age group. [230]
A.2.1.3 Women, work and children
  • Published data are not available on the number of births to women in employment.
  • Forty five per cent of women with dependent children aged 0-4 years are employed (four per cent are unemployed). [231]
  • The 1996 Census showed the labour force participation rates of mothers with one child as 39 per cent when the child is aged up to one year, 57 per cent when the child is aged 1-2 years and 68 per cent when the child is aged 3-4 years. [232]
  • The 1996 Census found that 'the participation rate of a mother with one child aged 3-4 years is the same as that for a mother with one child of primary school age.' [233]
  • Women with two or more children aged under five years are more likely to be out of the labour force than women with one child aged under five years (67 per cent versus 47 per cent). [234]
  • There is a significant difference in the labour force participation rate for women in sole parent families versus couple families. For women with dependent children aged 0-4 years, only 25 per cent of female sole parents are employed (eight per cent are unemployed) versus 46 per cent of women in couple families (three per cent are unemployed). [235]
  • Eighty two per cent of female sole parents with two or more dependent children aged under five are not in the labour force (versus 57 per cent of women in couple families). [236]
  • In Victoria, the ABS found that the number of women resigning from employment to have a child was 39 per cent in 1990-91, down from 88 per cent in 1975-79. [237]
A.2.1.4 Return to work after childbirth
  • Earlier research, such as the 1988 AIFS study, found that women who are in work at the time of pregnancy are more likely than not to return to work. Forty-six per cent (or 921 of 2 012) of respondents were in employment during their pregnancy. [238] Of this group, 60 per cent returned to the workforce within 18 months of birth. [239]
  • The AIFS study also found that overall, women are less likely to return to work as the number of children they have increases. For the total survey sample (2 012) 39 per cent of first birth women, 24 per cent of second birth women and 14 per cent of those who had three or more children returned to the workforce after the pregnancy. [240]
  • In contrast, women who have demonstrated commitment to workforce participation by returning after the first birth are more likely to return after second or subsequent births. The AIFS study found that of those in employment during pregnancy, 55 per cent of first birth women, 64 per cent of second birth women and 72 per cent of women who had three or more children returned to work. [241]
  • A 1998 ABS survey of 232 employed mothers with children under six years found that 72 per cent of these women had returned to work within a year of the birth of their youngest child. [242]

A.2.2 Access to maternity and parental leave

A.2.2.1 Unpaid Parental Leave
  • Published data are not available on the number of women who take unpaid maternity leave each year.
  • A recent survey of New South Wales women estimated that 154 900 took unpaid maternity leave in the last five years, meaning an annual average of 30 980 women in New South Wales. [243]
  • ABS statistics on Victoria found that 44 per cent of women who took a break from employment to have a child took maternity leave. The survey does not specify whether this break was paid or unpaid leave. [244]
  • The 1988 AIFS study found 65 per cent of women who were eligible for, and took maternity leave [245] returned to work with the same employer within the 12 month statutory period. [246]
  • Fifty-nine per cent of the partnered women had partners who had taken time off work at the time of the birth. On average, the partners took 9.7 days leave and this was most likely to be taken as recreation leave. [247]
  • Women in casual employment are less likely to have 12 months service with their current employer, [248] and hence are less likely to qualify for unpaid parental leave than permanent employees. The proportion of full time and part time casual employees who have been with their current employer for 12 months or more are 63 per cent and 57 per cent respectively, versus 83 per cent for both full and part time permanent employees. [249]
A.2.2.2 Paid Parental Leave
  • AWIRS 1995, surveying workplaces with 20 or more employees, found that 34 per cent of workplaces and 36 per cent of employees had access to paid maternity leave. [250]
  • AWIRS 1995 also found that, in workplaces with 20 or more employees, 57 per cent of employees (59 per cent of workplaces) in the public sector and 24 per cent of employees (23 per cent of workplaces) in the private sector had access to paid maternity leave provisions. [251]
  • A nation-wide survey in 2000-01 by EOWA of 1935 firms with more than 100 employees found that 23 per cent of organisations reported that they provided some form of paid maternity leave. [252]
  • DEWR analysis of the Workplace Agreements Database found that for the period 1997-2001, seven per cent of all federal Certified Agreements made provision for paid maternity leave. [253]
  • DEWR analysis of federal agreements certified to June 2001 found that the average duration of paid maternity leave for the period 1997-2001 was approximately six weeks, with the average in 2001 reaching almost eight weeks. Paid maternity leave across industries varied from 2-12 weeks. [254]
  • The Agreements Database and Monitor (ADAM) showed that 6.7 per cent of currently operating Certified Agreements (federal, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia) provide paid maternity leave of between two days and 36 weeks. [255]
  • ADAM showed that 0.7 per cent of currently operating AWAs provide paid maternity leave of either nine weeks or 12 weeks. [256]
  • The Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation (SEAS) found that 38 per cent of female employees responded that they were entitled to paid maternity leave (51 per cent of full time employees and 21 per cent of part time employees). [257]

A.3 Parental leave: industrial arrangements

A.3.1 Introduction

This section sets out current parental leave arrangements in Australia. It refers to parental leave because most existing arrangements for unpaid leave, and some for paid leave, provide for parental rather than maternity leave.

Section A.3.2 looks at current unpaid parental leave provisions in Australia. Attention is given to data on the take up rates and the average duration of parental leave.

Section A.3.3 provides an overview of available information on paid parental leave.

A.3.2 Unpaid parental leave

A.3.2.1 Current arrangements for unpaid parental leave

Maternity or accouchement leave provisions have existed in the public sector since 1973 with the enactment of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973. Australia's national standard of 12 months unpaid maternity leave was first introduced into federal industrial awards following the Maternity Leave Test Case in 1979. [258] The entitlement to leave was extended to adoptive mothers in 1985 [259] and to natural and adoptive fathers (on a shared basis) in 1989. [260] This standard is now established in Commonwealth legislation.

The Workplace Relations Act 1996 is the primary legislative instrument at federal level which regulates employee entitlements. Under the Workplace Relations Act, permanent full time and part time employees who have 12 months continuous service with their employer have a minimum entitlement to 52 weeks of shared unpaid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Except for one week, parents cannot take leave simultaneously as it is designed for the primary care-giver. Employees taking unpaid parental leave have a right to return to the position they held prior to taking leave, or to one similar in status. [261]

State legislation generally mirrors the federal provision. Legislation in two States, Queensland and New South Wales, also covers casual employees who have regular/continuous service with one employer.

In May 2001, an AIRC decision granted access to unpaid parental leave to federal award-covered casual employees employed on a 'regular and systematic basis for several periods of employment or on a regular or systematic basis for an ongoing period of employment during a period of at least 12 months, and has a reasonable expectation of on-going employment'. [262] These new provisions will be inserted into federal awards on application by the award parties on an award-by-award basis.

Generally speaking, this minimum entitlement does not distinguish widely between maternity, paternity and adoption leave. Parental leave entitlements allow either the mother or the father to take leave as they determine between themselves. This contrasts with arrangements in many of Australia's top 20 trading partners and the majority of OECD member countries, where a designated period of maternity leave is followed by further entitlements to parental or family leave, which can be taken by either parent. [263]

Originally maternity leave entitlements did require a compulsory period of maternity leave, generally six weeks before and six weeks after the birth. As HREOC's Pregnant and Productive Report observed, the requirement for a pregnant employee who is willing to do her job to commence maternity leave at a specified time is considered discriminatory. [264] While it is recognised that a period of leave generally will be taken, it is up to women to decide on the period of leave they require. For some women, in the absence of paid leave, this decision may unfortunately be made largely on financial grounds.

The compulsory period of leave was removed from the standard federal award clause during the Award Simplification Process, [265] however some awards, enterprise agreements and statutory provisions may still provide for a compulsory period of leave. [266] Federal legislation and some State legislation continues to provide additional entitlements that recognise the different circumstances of pregnancy. These include

  • transfer to a safe job where there is a risk to the mother or the unborn child; [267] and
  • pre-natal leave for illnesses associated with the pregnancy or in the case of still birth. [268]

These provisions recognise that women, during pregnancy, have certain needs to be accommodated. They recognise the different circumstances of pregnancy and operate to ensure that women are not disadvantaged because of their child bearing role.

A.3.2.2 Employees eligible for unpaid parental leave
Background

The 1988 AIFS study based on a survey of 2 012 women who gave birth in 1984 found that 76 per cent of those women employed during pregnancy (921 or 46 per cent of total sample) were eligible to take maternity leave as they were permanent employees with more than 12 months service. [269]

The Australian Living Standards Study (ALSS) conducted in 1991 - 1992 found that 75 per cent of women in its full time employee sample were eligible for parental leave. Some 47 per cent of full time male employees in the sample indicated that they were eligible for parental leave, while the number of eligible part time females was less than 40 per cent. [270] Part time employees' lack of eligibility was most likely due to the high level of part time employees that worked on a casual basis. For men, lack of eligibility reflects delays in implementation of the 1989 Parental Leave decision and the absence of a statutory entitlement until 1993.

A recent ABS survey of women in New South Wales estimated that 154 900 women aged 18-54 with a child under the age of 15 had taken unpaid maternity leave in the last five years. [271] ABS statistics on Victoria found that 44 per cent of women who took a break from employment to have a child took maternity leave. [272]

Current eligibility for unpaid parental leave

Current labour force data allow for an estimation of employees eligible for unpaid parental leave based on 12 months service with their current employer. Assessment of eligibility should include casual employees as the entitlement is gradually being extended to employees under federal awards, and in States and Territories. [273] Nonetheless, some casual employees may fall outside the definition of 'regular and systematic employment' and as a consequence not be eligible for leave.

Table A.1 shows that, based on the length of time with their current employer, about 80 per cent of permanent employees, both male and female, would meet the statutory requirement of 12 months employment for parental leave. A little over half of all casual employees would also meet the basic length of service requirement. [274]

Table A.1: Length of time with current employer, permanent and casual employees by gender, Australia, November 1998 (per cent)

 
Full time permanent employees
Part time permanent employees
Full time casual employees
Part time casual employees
Males
 
 
 
 
Less than 1 year
16.1 %
26.3 %
35.8 %
53.2 %
1 year or more
83.9 %
73.7 %
64.2 %
46.8%
Total
100 %
100 %
100 %
100 %
 
 
 
 
 
Females
 
 
 
 
Less than 1 year
18.0 %
16.1 %
41.6 %
38.7 %
1 year or more
82.0 %
83.9 %
58.4 %
61.3 %
Total
100 %
100 %
100 %
100 %

Source: ABS 6254.0 Career Experience, Australia November 1998, 10-11.

A.3.2.3 Unpaid parental leave take up rates

Eligibility for leave does not provide a reliable guide to the numbers of employees taking parental leave. To start, the number of births in any year is significantly less than the number of employees. For example, there were just under a quarter of a million births in 2000 (including births to women not in the labour force) compared to approximately nine million employed persons. [275]

Added to this is the fact that women and men may choose to resign from employment or take other forms of leave rather than take parental leave for a number of reasons, such as preferring to concentrate solely on family responsibilities. In addition, although both parents may be eligible for leave, usually only one person in a couple can take parental leave at any given time.

The 1988 AIFS study found that 57 per cent of women employed during pregnancy who were eligible for unpaid maternity leave actually took this leave. [276] Eligibility for maternity leave in this context relates to eligibility requirements such as working continuously for the same employer for 12 months and being employed on a permanent, rather than temporary or casual, basis. It is reasonable to argue that take up rates may have increased since the 1980s as women's labour force participation increased, anti-discrimination provisions were implemented, the relative novelty of maternity leave subsided, and, more recently, since unpaid parental leave has been extended to casual employees under certain circumstances.

A.3.2.4 Duration of unpaid parental leave

While the statutory maximum is 12 months, parents have a choice about the length of leave that they take. [277] Data on the actual duration of leave taken are scant. This section of the paper sets out available data.

Older studies, such as the one conducted by AIFS, found that 73 per cent of women taking maternity leave returned to work within 18 months. About 65 per cent of women who were eligible for and took maternity leave returned to work with the same employer within the 12 month statutory period. [278] In this survey, male partners of women were asked about the leave they had taken at the time of the birth. On average, male partners took 9.7 days and this was most likely to be taken as recreation leave. [279]

Table A.2: Duration of breaks from the workplace of employed people who had taken a break from work in the last six years when their youngest child was born.

Duration of leave Percentage of women Percentage of men
less than 6 weeks 8.33 96.5
6 weeks to less than 3 months 11.51 2.1
3 months to less than 6 months 18.66 *
6 months to less than 12 months 30.64 *
12 months or more 27.10 *

* subject to sampling variability too high for most practical uses.

Source: ABS 6254.0 Career Experience November 1998, 23.

This ABS survey referred to in Table A.2 involved 232 employed mothers with children under six years. It found that 72 per cent of these women had returned to work within a year of the birth of their youngest child. [280] Almost 60 per cent took more than six months leave. Note that the proportion of all women who are working within a year of the birth of their youngest child is likely to be significantly lower than indicated, as this survey did not include women who were not employed at the time of the survey and women who did not return to work within six years of the birth.

For the vast majority of men any break taken was for less than six weeks and most took some form of paid leave. [281] It is most likely that this was paid annual or long service leave.

Industry variations are of course likely. For example the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union estimates that 90 per cent of its members who take up unpaid maternity leave take the full 12 months. [282]

A.3.3 Paid maternity leave

A.3.3.1 Introduction

While minimum maternity leave entitlements provide for unpaid leave, a proportion of Australian employers also provide some form of paid maternity or parental leave. Entitlement to such leave may be available under awards, enterprise agreements or individual agreements, company policies or legislation covering public sector employees. This section considers available data on the incidence of paid maternity leave across the Australian workforce. Information on paid paternity and adoption leave has also been included where available, to provide a more comprehensive view of existing paid parental leave arrangements. Each of the key nationwide surveys are considered. There are also a number of State based surveys, including ABS surveys, which have not been included here, however none of these State surveys are conducted on a regular basis.

A.3.3.2 The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey (AWIRS 95) [283]

AWIRS 95 is a national survey of workplaces with 20 or more employees, that includes information about workplaces and employees. A structured questionnaire was used to survey 2 001 workplaces. This sample represents a population of about 37 200 workplaces, employing 3.6 million employees. Workplaces were selected from each State and Territory, and cover all industries except agriculture, forestry and fishing, and defence. AWIRS was also conducted in 1990, but has not been conducted again since 1995. The AWIRS database is managed by DEWR.

A limitation of AWIRS 95 for current analysis is that it relates to the period prior to the introduction of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth), and hence to some extent represents a different industrial context.

AWIRS 95 made the following findings.

  • Thirty-four per cent of workplaces with 20 or more employees provided paid maternity leave, potentially covering 36 per cent of employees working at workplaces with 20 or more employees. [284] Forty-two per cent of all full time and part time female employees in workplaces with 20 or more employees were potentially covered by paid maternity leave provisions. [285]
  • Eighteen per cent of workplaces with 20 or more employees provided paid paternity leave, potentially covering 16 per cent of employees working at workplaces with 20 or more employees. [286] Smaller workplaces were more likely to have paid paternity leave arrangements. [287]
  • Public sector workplace were more than twice as likely to have paid maternity leave than private sector workplaces. [288] Paid paternity leave was also more common in the public sector than the private. [289]
Table A.3: Paid maternity and paternity leave in workplaces with 20 or more employees, 1995
 
Paid paternity leave
Paid paternity leave
Workplace characteristics
% workplaces
% employees
% workplaces
% employees
All workplaces
34
36
18
18
Employment size
20-49
32
32
18
18
50-99
37
38
18
19
100-199
32
31
17
18
200-499
30
30
14
14
500 or more
38
44
11
13
Sector
Private
23
24
13
12
Public
59
57
31
23
Industry
Mining
29
28
11
10
Manufacturing
19
22
8
10
Electricity, gas and water supply
36
30
23
22
Construction
15
19
12
13
Wholesale trade
18
12
10
8
Retail trade
20
18
11
11
Accommodation, cafes and restaurants
21
21
7
8
Transport and storage
26
23
14
11
Communication services
87
93
26
33
Finance and insurance
38
26
24
20
Property and business services
23
27
7
11
Government administration
54
43
26
16
Education
66
73
43
38
Health and community services
48
48
23
12
Cultural and recreational services
31
43
22
27
Personal and other services
43
40
31
26

Source: AWIRS 95 main survey employee relations management questionnaire in Alison Morehead et al Changes at Work: The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Longman Melbourne 1997, 451.

A.3.3.3 Workplace Agreements Database (WAD) [290]

WAD includes all approved Certified Agreements under federal legislation since January 1997. This database is managed by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR).

A limitation of WAD is that it only records formal arrangements included in Certified Agreements. This means that provisions included in underlying awards, earlier agreements or personnel practices are not recorded, thus potentially underestimating the extent of family friendly provisions available in workplaces. In addition, Certified Agreements are not evenly distributed across industries.

In particular, CAs [Certified Agreements] are over-represented in the manufacturing, construction, transport and storage and government administration and defence industries and under-represented in the wholesale trade, retail trade, property and business services and education industries. [291]

For the period January 1997 to June 2001, DEWR analysis of WAD found

  • 2 330 federal Certified Agreements, representing seven per cent of all Certified Agreements made provision for paid maternity leave. [292] Paid maternity leave provisions in certified agreements ranged from one day to up to 18 weeks, with the most frequent periods offered being two weeks (39 per cent), six weeks (21 per cent) and 12 weeks (23 per cent). [293]
  • Thirty one per cent of female employees covered by federal Certified Agreements potentially had access to paid maternity leave. [294]
  • 936 federal Certified Agreements, representing three per cent of all Certified Agreements provided for paid paternity leave. [295] The most common period of paid paternity leave, in those organisations that provide it, was one week (82 per cent). [296]
  • 423 federal Certified Agreements, representing two per cent of all Certified Agreements provided for paid adoption leave. [297]
  • A number of industries in which a significant number of women are employed such as retail trade, accommodation, cafes and restaurants (57 per cent of employees are women), property and business services (46 per cent of employees are women), and personal and other services (46 per cent of employees are women) have among the lowest incidence of paid maternity leave provided for in federal Certified Agreements.
Table A.4: Periods of paid maternity leave and paid paternity leave in federal Certified Agreements (CAs) 1997-2001

 

  Number of CAs % of CAs
Period of paid leave Maternity Leave Paternity Leave Maternity Leave Paternity Leave
Days: 1
1
8
#
1
Days: 2
13
29
1
3
Days: 3
7
33
0.3
4
Weeks: 1
196
766
8
82
Weeks: 2
913
27
39
3
Weeks: 3
24
11
1
1
Weeks: 4
73
19
3
1
Weeks: 5
2
3
0.1
0.3
Weeks: 6
500
37
21
4
Weeks: 7
2
1
0.1
0.1
Weeks: 8
21
*
1
*
Weeks: 9
24
3
1
0.3
Weeks: 10
1
*
#
*
Weeks: 12
539
8
23
1
Weeks: 13
6
*
0.3
*
Weeks: 14
4
*
0.2
*
Weeks: 16
1
*
0.04
*
Weeks: 18
3
*
0.1
*
Number of CAs with Paid Leave
2330
936
 
 
As a % of all CAs
7
3
 
 

Source: Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data for Period 1/1/97 to 31/12/01

* no incidence recorded

# less than 0.05 per cent

 
 
Table A.5: Incidence and Duration of Paid Maternity Leave By Industry, 1997 - 2001
INDUSTRY 1997

Incidence of Federal Agreements

%

(average wks

per yr)
1998

Incidence of Federal Agreements

%

(average wks per yr)
1999

Incidence of Federal Agreements

%

(average wks per yr)
2000

Incidence of Federal Agreements

%

(average wks per yr)
2001

Incidence of Federal Agreements

%

(average wks per yr)
Mining
*(*)
*(*)
*(*)
*(*)
5(12)
Manufacturing
2(5)
3(4)
4(4)
5(5)
5(4)
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply
11(11)
5(13)
7(11)
28(8)
38(12)
Construction
2(1)
2(2)
2(2)
1(2)
2(1)
Wholesale Trade
7(9)
*(*)
3(6)
9(4)
33(1)
Retail Trade
3(5)
1(6)
4(7)
5(7)
3(4)
Accommodation, Cafes and Restaurants
*(*)
*(*)
*(*)
2(6)
5(4)
Transport and Storage
2(8)
1(7)
*(*)
4(8)
2(7)
Communication Services
11(6)
*(*)
29(8)
21(8)
20(12)
Finance and Insurance
24(7)
37(7)
12(5)
34(7)
35(7)
Property and Business Services
*(*)
3(8)
6(8)
9(8)
6(9)
Government Administration and Defence
4(9)
16(9)
15(9)
20(10)
34(10)
Education
43(11)
32(9)
32(9)
53(10)
44(11)
Health and Community Services
8(7)
57(2)
51(2)
37(3)
23(6)
Cultural and Recreational Services
2(9)
6(10)
19(9)
24(9)
38(10)
Personal and Other Services
*(*)
2(6)
12(8)
14(11)
8(6)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
*(*)
*(*)
9(12)
7(-)
*(*)
TOTAL
4(7)
10(4)
9(4)
6(7)
11(7)

Source: Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

* industry agreements recorded no paid maternity leave provisions

- industry agreements recorded no female employees

A.3.3.4 Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) Data [298]

EOWA collects data on paid parental leave as part of the reporting process under the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Cth). Organisations in the private sector with over 100 employees are required by the Act to provide an annual report on the equal opportunity programmes that are provided within their organisation. Data on paid parental leave were collected through telephone conversations between EOWA assessors and the reporting organisations. EOWA's predecessor, the Affirmative Action Agency, collected similar data through surveys of reporting organisations.

In 2001, 2 541 organisations reported to EOWA. 2 104 organisations were surveyed and 92 per cent (1 935) of these organisations responded to the questions on paid maternity and paternity leave. [299]

 

For 2000-01, EOWA data indicated the following.

  • Twenty-three per cent of organisations reported that they provide some form of paid maternity leave. [300]
  • Fifteen per cent of organisations reported that they provide some form of paid paternity leave. [301]
  • In general, the duration of paid maternity leave provided is considerably longer than that provided for paid paternity leave.
    • Forty-one per cent of organisations that provide paid maternity leave provided five to six weeks of leave, while another 33 per cent of organisations provided nine to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. [302]
    • Sixty-seven per cent of organisations that provide paid paternity leave provided less than three weeks of leave. [303]
  • There was considerable variation in the provision of paid maternity leave across industries. Around 56 per cent of education institutions are likely to offer paid maternity leave, versus five per cent of employers in the hospitality industry (accommodation, cafes and restaurants). [304]
    • The survey found the following rates of paid maternity leave amongst organisations by industry: 56.4 per cent in the education industry; 33.5 per cent of property and business services; 30.1 per cent in the finance and insurance industry; 24.9 per cent in the health and community services industry; 15.4 per cent of manufacturing companies; 7.4 per cent of transport and storage organisations; 7.2 per cent of retail trade organisations; 5.2 per cent of accommodation, cafes and restaurants and 4.5 per cent of wholesale trade organisations. [305]
  • Companies with more than 1 000 employees were more likely (37 per cent) to offer paid maternity leave than companies with between 100-499 employees (19 per cent) or companies with 500 to 999 employees (23.5 per cent). [306]
  • The EOWA data suggest some increase in the provision of paid maternity leave provisions amongst Australia's largest organisations (from15 per cent in 1997 [307] to 23 per cent in 2000-01).
  • The number of organisations offering paid maternity leave benefits has increased from 12 per cent in 1994-95 to 23 per cent in 1998-99. However the number of organisations offering paid maternity leave between 1998-99 [308] and 2000-01 has remained stable at 23 per cent. [309]
 
A.3.3.5 Agreements Database and Monitor (ADAM) [310]

ADAM is a database of registered Certified Agreements. It contains information on over 9 500 Certified Agreements in the Federal, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australian and South Australian jurisdictions. It also contains over 1 200 federal Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). [311] The database is managed by Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training (ACIRRT).

ADAM shows the following.

  • 6.7 per cent of currently operating Certified Agreements provide paid maternity leave of between two days and 36 weeks. [312]
  • 3.3 per cent of currently operating Certified Agreements provide paid paternity leave. [313]
  • 0.7 per cent of currently operating AWAs provide paid maternity leave of either nine weeks or 12 weeks. [314]
  • 0.4 per cent of currently operating AWAs provide paid paternity leave. [315]
  • '[T]he incidence of paid maternity leave in enterprise agreements over the years has stabilised … hovering between 6 and 6.5 percent'. [316]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Table A.6: Incidence of paid maternity leave provisions in currently operating Certified Agreements
 
% agreements
All current agreements
6.7
Union agreements
7.9
Non-union agreements
2.6
Public Sector
21.2
Private Sector
3.4
Industry group:
Mining/Construction
0.5
Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing
2.9
Metal Manufacturing
4.3
Other Manufacturing
0.8
Electricity, Gas and Water
22.6
Wholesale/Retail Trade
2.0
Transport/Storage
3.6
Communications
-
Financial Services
7.4
Public Administration
17.7
Community Services
19.0
Recreational and Personal Services
6.0

Source: ADAM Database, 2002, ACIRRT, University of Sydney, (n=2208) in Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

Table A.7: Incidence of paid maternity leave provisions in certified agreements, 1992-2001
Year
% of certified agreements
1992
2.0
1993
0.7
1994
1.0
1995
0.3
1996
3.2
1997
5.2
1998
6.6
1999
6.1
2000
6.4
2001
6.5

Source: ADAM Database, 2002, ACIRRT, University of Sydney, (n=9524) in Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

A.3.3.6 Australian Workplace Agreements Research Information System (AWARIS) [317]

The AWARIS contained a sample of AWAs, and was managed by the Office of the Employment Advocate up to 31 December 1999. Information on AWAs is now collected as part of ADAM which is maintained by ACIRRT.

The data on AWAs reported here were prepared by the former Department for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB), based on AWARIS data and was reported in Work and Family State of Play. [318]

The sample used by the former DEWRSB

… comprises AWAs from the 1 056 employers with approved AWAs as at 31 December 1998. The sample comprises the earliest approved AWA for each employer. [DEWRSB] have weighted the sample by the number of employees with AWAs for each of these employers to provide indicative population estimates for family-friendly provisions applying to around 42 106 employees. [319]

The potential for significant variation between AWAs within an organisation mean that this method of analysis may not provide a true reflection of existing AWAs. As such these figures should be used with care.

In considering AWAs as a measure of access to paid maternity leave, it is important to recognise that AWAs are not evenly spread across industries.

Government administration and defence and communication service industries have a higher representation of AWAs, while manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, education, and health and community services have a relatively lower representation of agreements.

Similarly, managers and administrators, and intermediate clerical, sales and service workers have a higher representation of AWAs, while tradespersons and related workers, intermediate production and transport workers, elementary clerical, sales and service workers and labourers and related workers were under-represented.

AWAs are more common in smaller organisations, with 42 per cent of AWAs in the sample made in organisations with less than 20 employees compared to four per cent in organisations with 500 or more employees. [320]

Fifty-eight per cent of AWAs were made with men and 42 per cent were made with women. [321]

Former DEWRSB analysis of AWARIS shows

  • thirty per cent of AWAs include paid maternity leave; [322]
  • twenty-eight per cent of AWAs include paid paternity leave; [323]
  • ninety-two per cent of AWAs that included paid maternity leave allowed for 12 weeks leave; [324] and
  • ninety-nine per cent of AWAs that included paid paternity leave allowed for one week leave. [325]
Table A.8: Period of paid maternity and paid paternity leave by Australian Workplace Agreement, up to 31/12/98
Period of paid leave Number of AWAs
  Paid maternity leave Paid maternity leave
Days: 3
0
27
Weeks: 1
216
11493
Weeks: 2
65
1
Weeks:4
114
0
Weeks: 5
1
1
Weeks: 6
116
9
Weeks: 8
501
0
Weeks: 12
11390
1
Weeks: 13
26
0
Number AWAs with paid leave
12429
11532
As a % of all AWAs
30
27

Source: AWARIS data up to 31/12/98, unweighted n=1056, weighted by number of employees gives n=42 106 quoted in Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 91.

A.3.3.7 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation (SEAS) [326]

SEAS is an ABS household survey that collected information on the diversity of employment arrangements and superannuation coverage in Australia. The survey collected information from individuals (April to June 2000) and superannuation funds and administrators (May to October 2000). The survey was a special stand-alone survey. SEAS collected information on paid maternity and paternity leave, however these data are unpublished.

SEAS found

  • thirty-eight per cent of female employees responded that they were entitled to paid maternity leave (51 per cent of full time employees and 21 per cent of part time employees); [327]
  • women in casual employment had almost negligible access to paid maternity leave (0.4 per cent of self-identified casuals responded that they were entitled to paid maternity leave, compared to 53.6 per cent of other female employees); [328]
  • industries with the highest incidence of paid maternity leave were government administration and defence (68 per cent of female employees), communication services (59 per cent of female employees), finance and insurance (59 per cent of female employees) and education (57 per cent of female employees); [329]
  • industries with the lowest incidence of paid maternity leave were accommodation, cafes and restaurants (13 per cent of female employees), retail (20 per cent of female employees) and cultural and recreational services (28 per cent of female employees); [330]
  • occupations with the highest incidence of paid maternity leave were managers and administrators (65 per cent) and professionals (54 per cent); [331] and
  • occupations with the lowest incidence of paid maternity leave were elementary clerical, sales and service workers (18 per cent) and labourers and related workers (21 per cent). [332]
Table A.9: Entitlement to paid maternity or paternity leave - Employees (excluding owner-managers)

 

 
Entitled to paid maternity/paternity leave
Not entitled
Did not know
Total
 
('000)
(%)
('000)
('000)
('000)
Female
Self identified casuals
3.4
0.4%
891.5
59.9
954.8
Other employees
1232.4
53.6%
537.5
529.9
2299.8
Total
1235.8
38.0%
1429
589.8
3254.6
 
 
 
 
 
 
Male
Self identified casuals
3.7
0.6%
583.1
54.7
641.5
Other employees
1204.1
40.9%
758.1
985.2
2947.4
Total
1207.8
33.7%
1341.2
1039.9
3588.9
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total
Self identified casuals
7.1
0.4%
1474.7
114.6
1596.4
Other employees
2436.6
46.4%
1295.7
1515.1
5247.4
Total
2443.7
35.7%
2770.4
1629.7
6843.8

Source: ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

 

 

 

 

 

Table A.10: Female employees (excluding owner-managers) entitled to paid maternity leave
 
Public sector

('000)
Private sector

('000)
Not determined

('000)
Total

('000)
% of total female employees
Labour force status
Employed full time
402.4
537.9
9.1
949.4
50.9%
Employed part time
116.5
167.9
2.0
286.5
20.8%
Industry
Agriculture Forestry and Fishing
-
1.8
-
1.8
4.5%
Mining
-
3.2
-
3.2
47.1%
Manufacturing
-
86.2
-
86.2
36.7%
Electricity Gas and Water Supply
2.9
1.9
-
4.7
49.5%
Construction
0.5
12.3
-
12.8
32.0%
Wholesale Trade
0.3
37.1
-
37.4
33.8%
Retail Trade
1.2
108.6
-
109.7
20.2%
Accommodation Cafes and Restaurants
0.1
28.2
0.6
28.9
13.4%
Transport and Storage
5.5
14.8
-
20.3
30.8%
Communication Services
20.1
4.2
0.7
25.0
59.1%
Finance and Insurance
11.2
92.7
0.4
104.2
59.0%
Property and Business Services
8.6
104.1
0.6
113.2
30.5%
Government Administration and Defence
113.1
1.4
0.4
114.9
68.1%
Education
180.1
59.0
0.6
239.7
57.0%
Health and Community Services
147.7
120.0
6.8
274.4
44.9%
Cultural and Recreational Services
10.7
13.3
0.9
24.9
28.2%
Personal and Other Services
17.2
17.4
0.1
34.6
31.4%
Occupation
Managers and Administrators
27.1
24.1
-
51.3
64.6%
Professionals
247.4
136.4
5.9
389.7
54.2%
Associate Professionals
56.8
83.7
0.6
141.2
46.0%
Tradespersons and Related Workers
3.3
15.8
-
19.0
24.3%
Advanced Clerical and Service Workers
27.0
80.6
0.4
108.1
44.1%
Intermediate Clerical, Sales and Service Workers
121.0
231.1
2.9
355.0
37.4%
Intermediate Production and Transport Workers
0.8
26.0
-
26.7
25.6%
Elementary Clerical, Sales and Service Workers
20.3
69.7
0.9
91.0
17.9%
Labourers and Related Workers
15.0
38.4
0.3
53.8
20.5%
Time worked in job
Less than 1 year
47.3
157.0
2.4
206.7
23.7%
1 year to less than 5 years
133.3
271.3
4.2
408.8
34.2%
5 years to less than 10 years
110.4
136.3
3.0
249.7
48.4%
10 years and over
227.9
141.4
1.4
370.7
55.2%
Total
518.9
705.8
11.1
1235.9
 

Source: ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

A.3.3.8 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey [333]

HILDA is a household-based panel survey that collects information on economic and subjective well-being, labour market dynamics and family dynamics. The survey is funded by the federal Department of Family and Community Services. The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research (University of Melbourne), the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Australian Institute of Family Studies are jointly responsible for design and management of the survey.

Wave 1 of the survey was conducted in the second half of 2001. Four questionnaires (three personal interviews and one self-completion questionnaire) were used to collect the information from 13 962 members of 7 680 households. The sample was drawn from 488 different neighbourhood regions across Australia.

Data from Wave 1 of the survey are expected to be available in October 2002.

Preliminary HILDA data show the following.

  • 49.8 per cent of female employees under 40 years of age potentially have access to paid maternity leave. [334]
  • 45.7 per cent of female employees with children under 15 years of age potentially have access to paid maternity leave. [335]

These data are based on a raw data set that is still subject to further editing and cleaning. The data are unweighted and subject to further change.

A.3.3.9 Awards

A review of the top 100 federal awards undertaken by the former DEWRSB found that six awards included provision for paid parental leave. [336]

A.3.3.10 Conclusions

Conclusions that can be drawn from the available data are limited. Each of the data sets outlined above measure a different group of employees in a different way, and as such are not directly comparable.

In very general terms, conclusions can be drawn from the data that

  • a number of workplaces in Australia do make paid maternity leave available to their employees through a range of mechanisms such as awards, Certified Agreements, AWAs and company policies, however the majority of working women do not have access to paid maternity leave;
  • the length of time available for paid maternity leave varies widely, from one day up to 36 weeks. The average length of time available falls considerably short of the ILO recommendation of a minimum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave;
  • paid maternity leave is more commonly available than paid paternity leave;
  • the length of time available for paid maternity leave is generally longer than that provided for paid paternity leave;
  • there is significant variation by industry in the availability of paid maternity leave, with lower coverage in many of the industries in which women and lower skilled employees are concentrated;
  • higher skilled, professional employees are more likely to have access to paid maternity leave than are those in less-skilled and lower paid work; and
  • casuals and part time employees have significantly less access to paid maternity leave than full time employees.

It is not possible from the available data to determine which industrial instrument is most commonly used to provide paid maternity leave. Of the top 100 federal awards, only six include provision for paid maternity leave. Similarly, only a very limited number of federal Certified Agreements (seven per cent) include a formal provision for paid parental leave, indicating that enterprise bargaining has not significantly increased women's access to paid maternity leave. The proportion of currently operating AWAs that include provision for paid maternity leave is negligible (0.7 per cent). Data are not available on the number of company policies that provide paid parental leave.

A significant limitation with the majority of available data is that most data only record whether workplaces or agreements provide some form of paid maternity leave. They do not provide information on the number of women who are actually eligible for paid maternity leave. Eligibility criteria, such as the need for 12 months service, mean that many women will not be eligible for paid maternity leave, even though they may work in organisations that provide for such leave. Employees who fall outside of these formal conditions, such as contract workers, will not have access to paid maternity leave. Similarly, casual employees' limited access to leave entitlements mean that they will generally not have access to paid maternity leave, even where they work in organisations that offer this type of leave. This is highlighted by SEAS data which found that only 0.4 per cent of casual employees had access to paid maternity leave. [337] This means that the figures outlined in this section of the paper are likely to overstate significantly the availability of paid maternity leave.

Further, the available data do not record the number of women who take maternity leave. Even though paid maternity leave may be available, this does not mean that women actually use this leave. The take up rate of paid maternity leave is a crucial factor in determining the effectiveness of workplace provision of paid maternity leave. A range of factors, such as workplace culture or concern to avoid disrupting career prospects, may mean that women are unwilling to take up paid maternity leave.

A.4 Government payments to parents

A.4.1 Introduction

The Federal Government provides a range of income support payments to families to assist with the costs of raising children, including newborns. The stated aim of these payments is to recognise the needs and choices of both single and dual income families. [338]

Government payments to parents through allowances and tax benefits are a means of supporting parents generally in child care, rather than directly assisting women to take leave from work at the time of child birth. However, government payments to parents are part of the framework of support for maternity in general and have been included for that reason.

A.4.2 Maternity Allowance

The purpose of Maternity Allowance is to help families with the extra costs associated with the birth of a new baby. It is paid for all babies (including stillborn babies and babies who die shortly after birth).

Claimants must be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A within 13 weeks of the child being born or, for adopted children, within 13 weeks of the child being entrusted into their care where the child was under 26 weeks at date of placement.

Maternity Allowance is paid as a non taxable lump sum of $798.72. Multiple births attract payment for each baby. [339]

In the financial year 2000-01, 210 120 families received Maternity Allowance in respect of 214 355 children. [340]

A.4.3 Maternity Immunisation Allowance

Maternity Immunisation Allowance is paid for children after the child reaches 18 months old and either has been fully immunised, or is exempt from the immunisation requirement. A valid exemption can be for medical reasons or a parent's/carer's conscientious objection to immunisation.

Claimants must have been paid Maternity Allowance for the child or be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A when the child meets the immunisation or exemption requirements. It is paid as a non taxable lump sum of $208. [341]

In the financial year 2000-01, 203 939 families received Maternity Immunisation Allowance in relation to 207 547 children. [342]

The Government spent $218 million on Maternity Allowance and Maternity Immunisation Allowance in 2000-01. [343]

A.4.4 Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB(A))

The purpose of FTB(A) is to help families with the costs of raising children. It is paid to families with children up to 21 years and young people between 21 and 24 who are studying full time (and not receiving Youth Allowance or a similar payment).

FTB(A) is based on combined family income. There is no assets test for FTB(A). Payments are made either fortnightly through the social security system, or through the tax system as a lump sum payment at the end of the financial year, with the added option to reduce the amounts withheld from wages paid to either parent. FTB(A) recipients may also qualify for Rent Assistance.

The maximum rate of FTB(A) for each child aged under 13 years is $122.92 per fortnight or $3 204.70 per year and is paid to families with an income up to $29 857 a year. The payment is then reduced on the basis of earnings. FTB(A) will stop for a family with one child aged 0-17 years when their income reaches $80 665. [344]

As at 30 June 2001, 1 799 706 families (with 3 482 290 children) received FTB(A). Of these families, 35 per cent received the maximum rate of payment. [345]

A.4.5 Family Tax Benefit Part B (FTB(B))

The purpose of FTB(B) is to provide extra assistance to single income families, including sole parents, especially families with a child aged under five years. FTB(B) is paid to families with children up to 16 years and children between 16 and 18 years who are studying full time.

The primary earner in a partnered relationship and sole parents are not subject to an income test. However, the secondary earner in a two parent family is income tested. There is no assets test for FTB(B). Payments are made either fortnightly through the social security system, or through the tax system as a lump sum payment at the end of the financial year, with the added option to reduce the amounts withheld from wages paid to either parent.

The maximum rate of FTB(B) for a child under five years is $105.56 per fortnight or $2 752.10 per year and is paid where the second income earner earns up to $1 679 per year. The payment is then reduced on the basis of the secondary earner's income, cutting out at earnings of $10 853 per year if the youngest child is aged under five years. [346]

As at 30 June 2001, 1 181 040 families (with 2 276 133 children) received FTB(B). Of these families, 72 per cent received the maximum rate of payment. [347]

Government spending in 2000-01 on Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B was $10.076 billion delivered via the social security system [348] and $11 million delivered via the tax system. [349]

A.4.6 Parenting Payment (PP)

The purpose of Parenting Payment is to assist people with children, particularly low income families, by providing an independent income. Parenting Payment is paid to one parent who is the primary carer of a dependent child (child must be aged under 16). The two main streams are Parenting Payment (single), and Parenting Payment (partnered).

Parenting Payment is taxable and is subject to an income and assets test. Parenting Payment is paid fortnightly in arrears through the social security system.

The basic rate of payment is up to $421.80 per fortnight for sole parents and up to $332.80 per fortnight for partnered parents (up to $399.00 per fortnight may be paid if partners are separated by illness, respite care or gaol). Parenting Payment recipients may also qualify for Pharmaceutical Allowance, Education Entry Payment and Employment Entry Payment. [350]

A sole parent with one child will receive the maximum rate of payment if their income is up to $136.60 per fortnight, with payment stopping once their income has reached $1 205.60 per fortnight. [351] In the case of partnered parents where the partner is not a pensioner, for maximum payment the eligible parent's income must be no more than $62 per fortnight and the partner's income must be no more than $561 per fortnight. A part payment may be available provided the eligible parent's income is less than $589.71 per fortnight, the partner's income is less than $1 036.43 per fortnight and the combined income of the couple is less than $1 150.71. Where the partner is a pensioner, maximum payment is made where the couple's combined income is up to $124 per fortnight and payment cuts out at a combined income of $1 179.42. [352]

As at 1 June 2001, 416 661 parents received Parenting Payment (single) and 205 379 parents received Parenting Payment (partnered). [353]

Government spending on Parenting Payment was $5.325 billion in 2000-01. [354]

A.4.7 Child Care Benefit

Child Care Benefit helps with the cost of child care for long day care, family day care, in-home care, occasional care, outside school hours care, vacation care and registered care.

Child Care Benefit for approved care can be paid directly to child care services to reduce the fees charged, or as a lump sum to parents in October following the previous financial year. This payment is subject to an income test but is not subject to an assets test. Child Care Benefit for registered care is paid by direct credit and is not subject to an income or assets test.

The maximum rate of payment for child care in a Commonwealth funded approved child care service provider is $129 a week for a non school child in 50 hours of care. The maximum rate is payable for family incomes under $29 857 or for families on income support. For a family with one child in approved care, a minimum rate of $21.70 a week is payable when income is over $85 653. [355]

In the case of registered care, up to $21.70 a week is payable for a non school child in 50 hours of care. [356]

The Government spent $1.037 billion on Child Care Benefit in 2000-01. [357]

In the December 2000 quarter, 470 900 families (658 500 children) were using Commonwealth funded approved child care services. In that quarter, around 444 400 families had claimed Child Care Benefit as a fee reduction, while a further 26 500 families were potential lump sum claimants.[358] During this period, around 12 per cent of families claimed minimum rates of Child Care Benefit and around 88 per cent of families claimed more than minimum rates of Child Care Benefit (for families who claimed fee relief for approved care only). [359]

 

A.4.8 The Baby Bonus

During the 2001 election campaign, the Coalition promised to introduce the Baby Bonus (also referred to as the First Child Tax Refund). The Taxation Law Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 was introduced into the House of Representatives on 14 March 2002.

The proposal has the following key elements.

  • Refundable tax offsets will be available for a family's first child born on or after 1 July 2001 or the first child born after 1 July 2001 to families who already have children. [360]
  • A mother (or father) can claim back one-fifth of the tax paid on income in the year of, or the year prior to, the birth of the child, up to a maximum of $2 500 per annum. [361]
  • Refundable tax offsets at this rate can be claimed back for up to five years, providing the mother (or father) does not return to the workforce in these years. If the mother (or father) does return to the workforce during these years, they will still receive the Baby Bonus, however it will be proportionately reduced according to the income they earn upon returning to work. [362]
  • There is a minimum entitlement of $500 for mothers (or fathers) whose taxable income is $25 000 or less, including those who did not work at all in the year before the birth of their first child. [363]

In explaining the rationale for introduction of the Baby Bonus, the Treasurer stated in his Press Release No. 89 of 28 October 2001 that

… one of the hardest times for families, financially, comes on the birth of a first child. Typically, a family loses one of its two incomes for a period of time as the primary carer (usually the mother) gives up, or reduces, her paid employment to care for her child. [364]

The level of payment provided through the Baby Bonus does not replace the loss of income that occurs with the birth of a child. For a woman earning average weekly earnings of $759.00 gross per week, [365] her refundable tax offset during her 12 months unpaid maternity leave amounts to $1 644.08 [366] or less than three weeks after-tax pay. [367] To claim a similar amount in subsequent years she must remain out of the workforce and relinquish her right to return to work in her former position. As is set out in Section A.2.1.1, many women choose to return to the workforce after a period of maternity leave, and therefore will lose the right to claim the Baby Bonus. If a woman returns to work part time she will be able to claim some but not all of the Baby Bonus.

The proposed legislation ties the maximum refundable tax offset to a five year absence from the workforce. In addition the Baby Bonus is claimed at the end of each tax year, meaning up to a twelve month wait following the birth of a child to receive the benefit. It may also operate as an incentive for women to remain out of the labour force.

A.4.9 Total Cost to Government

Note that while the payments are all made to parents, the majority of this expenditure is not targeted at supporting parents with newborn children. These payments have a range of objectives, including direct support with the costs of children, income support and assistance with the costs of childcare. These payments also relate to children and young people of a wide range of ages, including up to 24 years of age for FTB(B) in some circumstances.

Table A.11: Cost of existing Government payments to parents
Payment type (family assistance)
Cost to Government

2000-01

($'000)
Maternity Allowance and Maternity Immunisation Allowance [368]
217 899
Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B [369]
10 087 463
TOTAL
10 305 362
 
 
Payment type (income support)
Cost to Government

2000-01

($'000)
Parenting Payment [370]
5 325 681
 
 
Payment type (child care payments)
Cost to Government

2000-01

($'000)
Child Care Benefit [371]
1 037 137

Table A.12: Projected cost of Baby Bonus

2002-03

$'000
2003-04

$'000
2004-05

$'000
2005-06

$'000
85 000
250 000
390 000
510 000

Source : General Outline and Financial Impact discussion in Taxation Laws Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 Explanatory Memorandum.

Appendix B: International comparison of maternity leave benefits

Appendix B is available in PDF format. Click here to access the Appendix B: International comparison of maternity leave benfits.


213. ABS 6203.0 Labour Force Australia August 2001, 14.

214. ABS 6203.0 Labour Force Australia August 2001, 26.

215. ABS 6203.0 Labour Force Australia August 2001, 26.

216. ABS 6203.0 Labour Force Australia August 2001, 14.

217. ABS 4102.0 Australian Social Trends Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 118.

218. Australian Council of Trade Unions ACTU Fact Sheet: Job Security and Casual Work Australian Council of Trade Unions Melbourne 2001: www2.actu.asn.au/campaigns/election/FAC2CASU.pdf; ABS 4102.0 Australian Social Trends Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 118.

219. ABS 4102.0 Australian Social Trends Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 118.

220. ABS 6361.0 Employment Arrangements and Superannuation Australia April to June 2000, 10.

221. ABS 6359.0 Forms of Employment Australia August 1998, 14.

222. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 8.

223. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 8.

224. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 13.

225. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 46.

226. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 46.

227. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 16.

228. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 16.

229. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 6, 30, 33.

230. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia, 2000, 34.

231. ABS 6224.0 Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families Australia June 2000, 15.

232. Peter McDonald "Work-family policies are the right approach to the prevention of low fertility" (2001) 9(3) People and Place, 17-27 at 18.

233. Peter McDonald "Work-family policies are the right approach to the prevention of low fertility" (2001) 9(3) People and Place, 17-27 at 18.

234. ABS 6224.0 Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families Australia June 2000, 16.

235. ABS 6224.0 Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families Australia June 2000, 15.

236. ABS 6224.0 Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families Australia June 2000, 16.

237. Cited in Bettina Cass "Expanding paid maternity/parental leave through family income support: Supporting early infant care as a social responsibility" (1994) Social Security Journal 3-18 at 12.

238. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 4.

239. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 6 and 32.

240. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 69.

241. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 69.

242. ABS 6254.0 Career Experience Australia November 1998, 23.

243. ABS 4903.1 Managing Caring Responsibilities and Paid Employment NSW October 2000, 11.

244. Bettina Cass "Expanding paid maternity/parental leave through family income support: Supporting early infant care as a social responsibility" (1994) Social Security Journal 3-18 at 12.

245. Maternity leave was defined in this study as 'time absent from work allowed by employers for an employee to have a baby'. No differentiation was made between paid and unpaid maternity leave: Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 15-16.

246. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 52.

247. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 39.

248. ABS 6254.0 Career Experience Australia November 1998, 10-11.

249. ABS 6254.0 Career Experience Australia November 1998, 10-11.

250. Alison Morehead et al Changes at Work: The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Longman Melbourne 1997, 451.

251. Alison Morehead et al Changes at Work: The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Longman Melbourne 1997, 451.

252. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

253. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

254. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

255. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

256. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

257. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

258. Print D9576 9 March 1979 (1979) 218 CAR 120.

259. Adoption Leave Test Case Print F9852 16 August 1985 (1985) 298 CAR 321.

260. Parental Leave Test Case Print J3596 26 July 1990 (1990) 36 IR 1.

261. sch 14 cl 12 Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth).

262. Re Parental Leave - Casual Employees Test Case Print 904631 31 May 2001 (2001) EOC 93-144, para 8.

263. See discussion of international models in Chapter 4.

264. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Pregnant and Productive: It's a right not a privilege to work while pregnant HREOC Sydney 2001, 178.

265. Award Simplification Decision Print P7500, 23 December 1997 (1997) 43 AILR 3-683.

266. See for example s 34 Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (WA).

267. See for example sch 1A cl 7 Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) (applying to Victorian workers); s 70 Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW); s 36 Industrial Relations Act 1999 (Qld).

268. See for example sch 1A cl 10 Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) (applying to Victorian workers); s 71 Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW); s 37(2) Industrial Relations Act 1999 (Qld).

269. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 4.

270. Helen Glezer and Ilene Wolcott Work and Family Life: Achieving integration Australian Institute of Family Studies Melbourne 1995, 37-8.

271. ABS 4903.1 Managing Caring Responsibilities and Paid Employment NSW October 2000, 4.

272. Cited in Bettina Cass "Expanding paid maternity/parental leave through family income support: Supporting early infant care as a social responsibility" (1994) Social Security Journal 3-18 at 12.

273. Employees in the Territories are covered by federal awards.

274. However where provision is made for parental leave for casuals, additional requirements apply, such as having worked on a regular and systematic basis.

275. ABS 6203.0 Labour Force Australia August 2001, 3.

276. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 25. Maternity leave was defined in this study as 'time absent from work allowed by employers for an employee to have a baby'. No differentiation was made between paid and unpaid maternity leave: Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 15-16.

277. s 170KA and sch 14 cl 1 Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth).

278. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 52.

279. Australian Institute of Family Studies Maternity Leave in Australia: Employee and employer experiences - Report of a survey Commonwealth of Australia Melbourne 1988, 39.

280. ABS 6254.0 Career Experience Australia November 1998, 23.

281. ABS 6254.0 Career Experience Australia November 1998, 23.

282. Correspondence from Therese Bryant, National Women's Officer, Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association to Pru Goward, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, 8 October 2001.

283. The description of this survey is drawn from Alison Morehead et al Changes at Work: The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Longman Melbourne 1997, 25 and Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 65.

284. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 42.

285. Alison Morehead et al Changes at Work: The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Longman Melbourne 1997, 116.

286. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 42.

287. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 42.

288. Alison Morehead et al Changes at Work: The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Longman Melbourne 1997, 116.

289. Alison Morehead et al Changes at Work: The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Longman Melbourne 1997, 116. The description of this survey is drawn from Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 62.

290. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 62-63.

291. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

292. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

293. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data. This included employees with legislated rights to paid maternity leave.

294. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

295. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

296. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Workplace Agreements Database dated 3 April 2002 unpublished data.

297. The description of this data is drawn from information provided by Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency .

298. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency Unpublished statistics 2002.

299. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

300. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

301. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

302. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

303. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

304. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

305. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

306. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 18.

307. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

308. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2002 unpublished data.

309. The description of this survey is drawn from the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training website at www.acirrt.com/research/default.htm.

310. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 31.

311. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report

312. 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

313. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

314. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

315. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 8.

316. Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training Agreements Database and Monitor Report 32 University of Sydney March 2002, 9.

317. The description of this survey is drawn from Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 63-64.

318. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 63-64.

319. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 28.

320. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 64.

321. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 29.

322. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 31.

323. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 31.

324. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 31.

325. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1998, 31.

326. The description of this survey is drawn from ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

327. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

328. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

329. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

330. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

331. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

332. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

333. The description of this survey is based on information prepared by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. Information on HILDA can be obtained from www.melbourneinstitute.com/hilda/

334. Prepared by Mark Wooden and Simon Freidin, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne. Used with the permission of the Department of Family and Community Services.

335. Prepared by Mark Wooden and Simon Freidin, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne. Used with the permission of the Department of Family and Community Services.

336. Research provided by the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business as of 7 November 2000.

337. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation April - June 2000 unpublished data.

338. This section is drawn from the Centrelink publications Centrelink Information: A Guide to Payment and Services 2001-2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/about_us/centrelink_info.htm; Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm and the Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001.

339. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 4.

340. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 43.

341. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 5.

342. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 33.

343. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 42.

344. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 2.

345. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 43.

346. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 4.

347. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 43.

348. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 42.

349. Treasury Tax Expenditure Statement 2001 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 7. Note this figure is an estimate for spending in 2000-01 as opposed to the social security figure which is actual expenditure.

350. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 6.

351. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 20.

352. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 6.

353. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 149.

354. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 148.

355. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 5.

356. Centrelink A Guide to Commonwealth Government Payments 20 March - 30 June 2002: www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/publications/rate.htm, 5.

357. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 77.

358. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 82.

359. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 78.

360. Taxation Laws Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 Explanatory Memorandum Para 1.3.

361. Taxation Laws Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 Explanatory Memorandum. Paras 3.3 to 3.5.

362. Taxation Laws Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 Explanatory Memorandum, Para 3.38.

363. Taxation Laws Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 Explanatory Memorandum Para 3.8.

364. Quoted in Taxation Laws Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 Explanatory Memorandum para 1.2.

365. ABS 6302.0 Average Weekly Earnings Australia November 2001, 5.

366. Taxation Laws Amendment (Baby Bonus) Bill 2002 Explanatory Memorandum Paras 3.27 to 3.32; Income Tax Rates for 2001-2002 obtained on the Australian Taxation Office's website at: www.ato.gov.au/content.asp?doc=/content/Individuals/12333.htm&page=2.

367. The comparison is made with after-tax pay since wages are subject to taxation but the Baby Bonus is not.

368. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 42.

369. Spending on FTB(A) and FTB(B) constitutes $10.076 billion delivered via the social security system (Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 42) and $11 million delivered via the tax system (Treasury Tax Expenditure Statement 2001 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 7). Note that the amount delivered via the tax system is an estimate for spending in 2000-01 as opposed to the social security figure which is actual expenditure.

370. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 148. Note that parents are able to and do access the full range of income support payments. Parenting payment has been included here because it is a payment which is targeted specifically at parents in recognition of their particular circumstances.

371. Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report 2000-01 Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2001, 77.

372. This table is a reproduction of the table at www.un.org/Depts/unsd/ww2000/table 5c.htm. Marking of countries as OECD countries and Australia's top 20 trading partners has been added.