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Valuing Parenthood - Part C

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

Part C: Objectives of Paid
Maternity Leave

CHAPTER
5: Introduction

CHAPTER
6: Objective - achieving equity

6.1
Addressing workplace disadvantage

6.2 Developing equitable workplaces
6.3 Fairness for all employees

CHAPTER
7: Objective - supporting women and families

7.1
Introduction
7.2 Health and welfare of mothers and newborn
children

7.3 Enabling women to combine work and family
7.4 Direct cost of children
7.5 Economic security for women

CHAPTER
8: Objective - benefits to employers

8.1
Commercial benefits of paid maternity leave

CHAPTER
9: Objective - benefits to society

9.1
Economic benefits to society

9.2 Social benefits
9.3 National fertility and population policy


CHAPTER
5: Introduction

It can be argued
that paid maternity leave can go some way to meeting a number of identified
national policy objectives. The structure of any paid maternity leave
scheme may be varied depending on the objectives identified.

Possible objectives
of a paid maternity leave scheme identified during consultations on
this paper include

  • ensuring that
    women are not disadvantaged in their employment through their intrinsic
    role in child bearing;
  • maintaining
    a committed and competitive workforce;
  • protecting significant
    capital investment by the government in the education and training
    of women;
  • supporting economic
    security for women throughout their lives;
  • accommodating
    the position of women as a significant proportion of the available
    skilled labour pool, thus enhancing Australia's economic competitiveness;
  • supporting the
    health and welfare of mothers and newborn children;
  • assisting women
    and men to manage their work and parental responsibilities so that
    the needs of children and families may be met in the context of modern
    Australian society;
  • ensuring that
    working women do not unwillingly delay or avoid having children; and
  • addressing the
    declining national birth-rate and its consequences for Australia as
    a society in the future, and its future tax and economic base.

Identifying and
assessing relevant objectives for a paid maternity leave scheme is important
in considering the possible characteristics of such a scheme, in particular
the duration of paid leave, eligibility requirements, size of payments
and funding source. In addition to this, there might be other policy
measures which better or already meet these objectives.

Part C discusses
the various policy objectives for paid maternity leave under the following
headings.

  • Equity issues,
    including addressing systemic discrimination, fairness to all employees,
    supporting women's choices and developing socially responsive workplaces
    (Chapter 6).
  • Supporting women
    and families, including the health and welfare of mothers and newborn
    children and the economic security of women and their families (Chapter
    7).
  • Benefits to
    employers, including discussion of the commercial benefits of paid
    maternity leave (Chapter 8).
  • Benefits to
    society, including economic benefits and the achievement of a sustainable
    population level (Chapter 9).

Paid maternity
leave alone will not fully meet these policy objectives. Social and
economic issues such as women's health, workplace equity and employment
security are complex and cannot be guaranteed by any single action.
Instead, paid maternity leave should be seen as one of a range of measures
that could be used to meet these objectives.


QUESTIONS

Q.10 Which
objectives, whether discussed in this paper or not, do you consider
should be the primary objectives of a paid maternity leave system? Why?
Q.11 Do
you consider that a paid maternity leave system would be able to meet
any or all of these objectives? If so, to what extent?
Q.12 Are
there particular design elements for a paid maternity leave scheme that
would be crucial for achieving particular objectives? If so, what are
those elements?
Q.13 Are
you aware of any additional international or Australian evidence or
studies that document the effectiveness of paid maternity leave in achieving
any of these objectives?

CHAPTER
6: Objective - achieving equity

6.1
Addressing workplace disadvantage

6.1.1 Introduction

Women
continue to experience unequal treatment in the workplace because of
their role in bearing and caring for children. This unequal treatment
can take the form of specific acts of discrimination such as dismissal
as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, reduced wages or diminished
workplace responsibilities. Some employers are unwilling to promote
women with children. Even without discrimination, the cost and responsibilities
of child bearing and rearing usually fall disproportionately on mothers.
While families may agree to this allocation of responsibilities, the
participation of women in unpaid as well as paid work frequently results
in generalised workplace disadvantage for women. This level of disadvantage
includes the disadvantage some women experience in performing paid work
of low personal satisfaction.

One of the underlying
principles of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (and CEDAW)
is that women and men should be treated equally. Equality does not require
that men and women always receive identical treatment, but that any
treatment does not unfairly disadvantage one sex. Men and women cannot
and should not be treated the same in relation to the areas of life
in which women are unique: pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
In this sense, protection from discrimination and benefits for workers
before and after childbirth are not exceptions to equal treatment but
rather conditions for non-discrimination. Paid maternity leave is one
of a raft of measures that can ameliorate women's workplace disadvantage.

6.1.2 Women and employment
discrimination

Australia currently
has legislation that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis
of sex and pregnancy and provides some protection against discrimination
based on family responsibilities. At the federal level, the relevant
legislation is the Sex Discrimination Act. [99]

The capacity of
women to combine work and mothering responsibilities has been improved
substantially by the existence of anti-discrimination legislation making
maternity and pregnancy discrimination unlawful. Industrial and workplace
relations legislation also provides protection against dismissal for
pregnant employees and their partners, as well as guaranteeing a right
to return to their employment after a period of leave. [100]

However, women
continue to experience discrimination at work based on pregnancy, breastfeeding,
return to work issues and family responsibilities. In the year ending
October 2001, pregnancy and family responsibilities discrimination alone
made up 18 per cent of all complaints to the HREOC under the Sex Discrimination
Act. [101]

There is an argument
that providing paid maternity leave could increase the incidence of
sex-based discrimination. Were paid maternity leave provided solely
by employers, they may seek to avoid this cost by preferring male employees
over women of child bearing age. This is an important factor to consider
in the design of a paid maternity leave scheme.

Paid maternity
leave and indirect sex discrimination

It is arguable
that a failure to provide paid maternity leave could constitute indirect
sex discrimination under the Sex Discrimination Act. Indirect discrimination
occurs when a condition, requirement or practice in the workplace appears
to apply equally but is actually discriminatory in its effect.

Indirect sex discrimination
under the Sex Discrimination Act arises where a person imposes, or proposes
to impose a condition, requirement or practice that has, or is likely
to have, the effect of disadvantaging women or men and which is not
reasonable in the circumstances. [102] It is arguable
that a failure to provide paid maternity leave imposes a requirement
that disadvantages women.

In the case of
maternity rights the [discriminatory] requirement could be identified
as one that requires parental leave to be taken as unpaid leave. It
is clearly arguable that such a requirement has the effect of disadvantaging
women, because of their biological role in childbearing and because
of the fact that it is predominantly women who take parental leave
and suffer a consequential loss of income. [103]

However, coverage
of such disadvantage by the indirect sex discrimination provisions of
the Sex Discrimination Act is subject to the requirement being unreasonable.
It may be arguable that requiring women to take unpaid leave at childbirth
is reasonable.

There have been
no cases under the Sex Discrimination Act or other comparable legislation
in Australia where a woman has established that a failure to provide
paid maternity leave was unlawful sex discrimination.

Women and workplace
disadvantage

In its recent report
on the progress of the Maternity Protection Convention in signatory
countries, the International Labour Organization noted that

… maternity
protection in the last half century has been marked by progress in
law, an evolution in workplace practice and rising social expectations
regarding the rights of working women during their child-bearing years.
Yet the gains registered have so far failed to resolve the fundamental
problem experienced by most, if not all, working women at some point
in their professional lives: unequal treatment in employment due to
their reproductive role. [104]

Submissions to
the HREOC National Inquiry into Pregnancy and Work noted that the absence
of paid maternity leave compounds other disadvantage flowing to women
because of the particular circumstances of maternity. For example, the
absence of paid maternity leave compounds the disadvantage many women
experience when pregnant at work. [105]

The International
Labour Organization considers paid maternity leave an essential element
in establishing a process to overcome such unequal treatment.

As an indispensable
means of protecting the health of any woman wage-earner and her child,
the mother's right to a period of rest when a child is born,
together with a guarantee of being able to resume work after the break
with adequate means of supporting herself and her family, is the core
element of any instrument seeking to reconcile women's procreative
role with the demands of paid employment. [106]

6.2
Developing equitable workplaces

Where women do
have access to paid maternity leave, they may be deterred from making
full use of such leave by the culture of an organisation. The attitudes
of management and other employees to paid maternity leave and other
family friendly policies may influence the likelihood of employees making
use of these policies. Low take up of family-friendly policies can lead
to a significant divergence between policy and practice within an organisation.

The influence of
workplace culture on women's decisions about maternity leave was raised
in the context of HREOC's National Inquiry into Pregnancy and Work.

During formal
and informal consultations, several accounts from professional women
identified that they, due to workplace culture, and in order to protect
their roles, felt personally compelled to take annual or long service
leave rather than maternity leave to have their babies. [107]

This is supported
by other anecdotal evidence. One example is the success of paid paternity
leave at AMP. The leave was introduced in 1995, and one of the first
men to take it was a senior manager. Despite the national trend of low
paternity leave take up rates, 400 men at AMP have since taken six weeks
paid parental leave and the take up is increasing each year. The organisation
attributes the high rates of paternity leave take up to the example
set by management, which contributed to a change in corporate culture. [108]

The introduction
of paid maternity leave may have a positive impact on corporate attitudes
to balancing work and family. Government action on paid maternity leave
will provide a strong signal to the community that supporting parents
to balance work and family is an important issue that requires action,
either in the form of paid leave or other family supports. It may also
increase acceptance by organisations that employees should be supported
in balancing work and family.

6.2.1 Paid maternity
leave as an employee entitlement

Maternity leave
may be construed as an employee entitlement, like annual leave or sick
leave. The question then is why maternity leave is not financially supported
in the same way as other types of leave. There may be a strong argument
on equity grounds that maternity leave be paid in the same way that
other leave is paid.

Employee entitlements
such as these assist in the building of trust and respect between employers
and employees by acknowledging the personal needs and responsibilities
of employees. They also build employee loyalty to employers, can improve
productivity and reduce labour hire and retraining costs. Potential
benefits for employers are further discussed in Chapter 8.

6.3
Fairness for all employees

The current spread
of paid maternity leave through the Australian workforce is uneven.
Whether any particular employee will have access to paid maternity leave
will depend on the type of organisation and industry she works in as
well as her occupation and employment status. While competitive labour
markets necessarily contain distinctions, the social nature of maternity,
in particular the clear benefits to society of children in addition
to the macroeconomic benefits of the maintenance of the population,
suggest that the provision of paid maternity leave cannot be treated
entirely as a matter for the market and that uneven provision of benefits
may produce less than optimal social and macroeconomic outcomes.

6.3.1 Paid maternity leave
by organisation size and type

Women working in
smaller organisations and the private sector are more limited in their
access to paid maternity leave, compared to women working in the public
sector and larger organisations, where paid maternity leave is more
readily available. See the discussion in Section 2.3.2.

6.3.2 Paid maternity leave
by industry

As shown in Section
2.3.2 access to paid maternity leave is also highly industry related.
For example, SEAS found that 68 per cent of employees in government
administration and defence had access to paid maternity leave whereas
only 13 per cent of employees had these entitlements in accommodation,
cafe and restaurant industries. [109]

The ACTU has concluded
that the uneven spread of paid maternity leave is the consequence of
the high proportion of casual workers in some industries. [110] For example, the hospitality industry has a 55.2 per cent rate of casual
employment. Those on lower incomes are less likely to receive paid entitlements,
further reducing their ability to manage a temporary separation from
the workplace.

For women employed
in these industries the ability to take paid parental leave and ensure
their child's and their own health and wellbeing is reduced. This amplifies
the disadvantage facing low income women who choose to have children.
Parenting payments and other means-tested allowances may partially ameliorate
this disadvantage. [111]

6.3.3 Paid maternity leave
by occupation

From the data available,
discussed in Section 2.3.2, it appears that the occupations with the
highest incidence of paid maternity leave are those where employees
have higher skill levels and higher education.

These data indicate
that access to paid maternity leave and other family-friendly policies
is skewed towards those who already have higher incomes and greater
individual workplace status.

This is partly
because office work is often conducive to flexible working hours and
because employers are generally keener to retain highly skilled staff
than low skilled staff due to the higher costs associated with replacing
professional staff. This keenness often translates to offering working
conditions that are attractive to employees in a bid for the employer
to be known as an 'employer of choice.' [112]

6.3.4 Paid maternity leave
by employment status

Current requirements
for accessing paid maternity leave generally restrict access to long
term and permanent employees. Around 40 per cent of women employed on
a casual basis have less than 12 months service. [113] For women in permanent employment, 16 per cent of part time employees
and 18 per cent of full time employees have less than 12 months service. [114]

ABS data show that
0.4 per cent of female casual employees are entitled to paid maternity
leave, compared with 53.6 per cent of other female employees. [115]

Women in casual
and short term employment often have more marginal attachment to the
labour force. These positions are the most likely to go during periods
of economic downturn. There is also very limited bargaining power attached
to these positions. As such, the employment status of these women is
significantly more vulnerable than for permanent employees. These women
are more likely to need to resign in order to have time out of the workforce
or to take leave at the birth of a child. Given their lower levels of
income from work, these women may also be more likely to be forced to
return to work within 14 weeks following the birth of a child, particularly
if the available welfare benefits are inadequate compensation.

The high proportion
of women in casual employment, and the increasing rate of casual employment
in Australia, mean that the ability of some women to access paid maternity
leave is likely to be deteriorating.

In addition, women
who are self-employed or employed on a contract basis are unlikely to
have access to paid maternity leave.


QUESTIONS

Q.14 Do
you consider that a paid maternity leave scheme would assist to provide
greater workplace equity?
Q.15 Are
there particular design elements for a paid maternity leave system that
would be crucial for achieving workplace equity? If so, what are they?
Q.16 Are
you aware of any additional international or Australian evidence or
studies that document the effectiveness of paid maternity leave in achieving
workplace equity?

CHAPTER
7: Objective - supporting women and families

7.1
Introduction

Paid
maternity leave is one means of providing direct support to women in
the paid workforce following the birth of a child. Such support can
contribute to women's and children's health following childbirth; enable
women to better combine work and family; compensate for the loss of
income at a time of increased expenses; and contribute to women's economic
security.

The economic benefits
for women of paid maternity leave include encouraging women's continuing
attachment to the workforce. Uninterrupted labour force attachment does
not suit everyone; many women prefer to remain out of the workforce
for long periods to care for children. The economic benefits of paid
maternity leave associated with continuous labour force attachment will
apply differently to women according to their work and family choices.

7.2
Health and welfare of mothers and newborn children

One of the basic
objectives of paid maternity leave is to ensure the health and welfare
of mothers and newborn children. In consultations on paid maternity
leave, there was general consensus that the role of bearing and raising
children is a function that is socially desirable and should be supported
by the community.

7.2.1 Maternal recovery

While maternity
is no longer considered an illness or disability, there is no doubt
that pregnancy, childbirth and the demanding feeding schedule of a newborn
child affect a woman's health at this time. In addition, a large number
of women in Australia give birth by caesarean section, which necessitates
a period of post-birth recovery. It is usually necessary for a woman
to leave the workplace for a period to ensure that she recovers from
childbirth. This time is important in ensuring the health of the mother
and the child. Paid maternity leave can assist by ensuring that women
are able to take an adequate recovery period out of the workforce following
birth. Without financial support, some women may find it necessary to
return to the workforce at a stage which may be detrimental to either
their health or the welfare of the child.

The exact period
of time that is required will vary according to a woman's individual
experience. The World Health Organization (WHO), in considering international
standards for the health care of new mothers, considers that approximately
16 weeks absence from work after childbirth is necessary as a minimum
to recover from childbirth and to accommodate breastfeeding. [116] Longer periods of leave are advantageous to allow for ongoing care by
either parent, however this 16 week period is considered essential for
women purely on health grounds.

WHO notes that

[a] period of
absence from work after birth is of utmost importance to the health
of the mother and the infant. This is conducive to both the optimal
growth of the infant and the bonding between mother and infant. Absence
from work also allows the mother to recover. The time needed depends
on her health before, during and after birth, as well as on the health
of the infant and whether or not the birth was complicated. After
delivery maternal health problems that may arise include infections,
anaemia, depression, backache, anxiety and extreme tiredness. [117]

The need to ensure
maternal health was one of the primary objectives of the ILO 183 and
its provisions for paid maternity leave.

Not only is maternity
leave and appropriate medical care essential to enable a woman to
retain or regain her health and to return to work, but income replacement
during her leave period has become indispensable for the well-being
of herself, her child and her family. [118]

The ILO in part
adopted WHO's recommendations; the ILO's international standard requires
a minimum period of 14 weeks paid maternity leave, preferably longer,
with a minimum of six weeks leave after childbirth. [119]

On the other hand,
some women can and do return to work within the 16 weeks following childbirth
with no apparent detriment to their health. Women should not be forced
to take leave if their health does not require it. HREOC considers that
a compulsory period of leave for an employee with a newborn child who
is willing to do her job is discriminatory. HREOC holds a similar view
with regard to compulsory periods of maternity leave for pregnant employees
prior to the birth of a child. [120] The purpose
of paid maternity leave is not to enforce a period of leave but to ensure
that financial concerns do not force women to return to work before
they have recovered from childbirth.

7.2.2 Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is
widely recognised as one of the most important contributions to infant
health, including improved growth, immunity and development.

WHO considers that

[b]reastfeeding
is a major determinant of infant health. There is ample evidence on
the advantages of breastfeeding for child health and development and
for the prevention of child mortality and morbidity. Infants who are
exclusively breastfed (that is, receiving only breast milk and no
other food or drink) for at least 4 months have significantly less
gastrointestinal and respiratory illness including ear infections
and asthma, than those who are not breastfed. Breastfeeding is particularly
important for the preterm and/or low birth weight infant. [121]

The importance
of breastfeeding for mothers and children is supported by a number of
community and medical professional groups in Australia. For example,
in a position statement on breastfeeding, the Australian Medical Association
(AMA) has stated that

[t]he AMA supports
breast-feeding because of its beneficial effects on an infant's nutritional,
immunological and psychological development and because of the bonding
promoted between mother and child. [122]

The Federal Government's
National Breastfeeding Strategy also recognises the importance of breastfeeding
for maternal and child health. A report of the Strategy states that

[b]reastfeeding
is one of the most important contributors to infant health. Breastfeeding
provides a range of benefits for the infant's growth, immunity and
development. In addition, breastfeeding improves maternal health and
contributes economic benefits to the family, health care system and
workplace. [123]

Governments in
Australia have implemented a range of strategies to promote and support
breastfeeding and to increase the rate of breastfeeding in Australia. [124]

Of particular concern
in this regard are ABS statistics that indicate that

… although
a high percentage of women commence breastfeeding, there is a rapid
decline in the numbers of women breastfeeding by the time the infant
is six weeks of age. [125]

Various studies
have noted the link between return to work and cessation of breastfeeding.
In its Guide to Combining Breastfeeding and Work, the former federal
Department of Industrial Relations notes that

[w]hile a return
to work will not affect the initiation of breastfeeding it can have
a negative impact on the breastfeeding relationship by contributing
to its early cessation. [126]

A 1990-91 survey
in South Australia by Stamp and Crowther of 222 women found that seven
per cent of women had stopped breastfeeding by six weeks due to an impending
return to work. [127] Similarly a 1991 survey in
Tasmania by Cox and Turnbull of 268 women found that seven per cent
of women ceased breastfeeding because of a return to the paid workforce. [128]

A US survey by
Auerbach and Guss of 567 women drawn from across the US and five other
countries found that timing of return to work influenced infant weaning.
In particular 'if the mother returned to work before her baby was 16
weeks old, the likelihood of early weaning from the breast increased'. [129] In contrast

[w]omen who begin
working after 16 weeks often have a well-established milk supply,
and may have successfully negotiated one or more transient breastfeeding
crisis, thereby minimizing negative effects that employment can have
on breastfeeding. [130]

Feeding a newborn
child by bottle or breast can be physically demanding as it creates
regular sleep disruptions, particularly in the first months of a child's
life. Paid maternity leave would allow women the time and financial
security to take time out of the workforce to establish and maintain
breastfeeding. This would have significant health and welfare benefits
for women and children, as well as broader benefits for the community.

HREOC notes that
allowing a period of time to establish breastfeeding does not eliminate
the need to ensure that women who return to work are able to continue
to breastfeed their child. Employers are encouraged to support women
who want to combine breastfeeding and work.

7.3
Enabling women to combine work and family

Paid maternity
leave is part of the broader issue of enabling women to better combine
their work and family responsibilities. Paid maternity leave allows
women the choice to take time out from the workforce at the birth of
a child without undue financial pressure.

Women retain the
major responsibility for caring for children, as well as participating
in increasing numbers in the paid workforce. Men have not altered their
working hours in ways that allow them to take responsibility for the
care of their children. [131]

Bowman and Russell [132] cite various studies into the division of family
responsibilities between men and women and conclude that

  • the division
    of labour remains very rigid;
  • women do 90
    per cent of childcare tasks and 70 per cent of all family work; and
  • only 15 per
    cent of fathers are highly participative in terms of time on family
    work.

The introduction
of paid maternity leave would provide support for women who wish or
need to continue working following the birth of a child. It would provide
support at a crucial time and would increase the options available to
these women.

7.4
Direct cost of children

Children impose
an additional economic burden on household finances. Household Expenditure
Surveys conducted by the ABS suggest that a family budget for a two-parent
family needs to increase by about 18 per cent to accommodate a first
child without diminution in standard of living. A second child requires
an overall 25 per cent increase in expenditure and a third child requires
an overall 33 per cent increase to maintain a family standard of living.
For single parent families the corresponding figures are 22 per cent
for one child and 35 per cent for two or three children. [133]

Families will experience
a decline in standard of living following childbirth unless income is
increased or substantial savings are held. This decline in income is
even greater when combined with the fact that most women in paid employment
forego income in order to take time out of the workforce at the birth
of a child.

Paid maternity
leave would assist with the costs of having children, and in particular
the increased costs faced at the time of the birth of a child, in addition
to providing some compensation for income foregone by those mothers
in paid work.

7.5
Economic security for women

Economic security
for women includes both the adequacy of their current income and their
access to adequate financial support over their lifetime. Paid maternity
leave is one of many possible means of promoting women's economic security,
based on encouraging and enabling women's labour force participation.
Paid maternity leave will not assist the economic security of those
women who choose to care for their children full time over a number
of years. Separate measures, such as retraining at the time of return
to work and appropriate government assistance during time out of the
labour force to raise children are also required.

Paid maternity
leave may assist women to maintain their attachment to the labour force
and hence contribute to improving their long term economic security.
A strong labour force attachment can reduce the likelihood of long term
unemployment, reduce the likelihood of welfare dependence and also improve
women's retirement savings.

7.5.1 Assisting labour force
attachment

Maintaining a woman's
labour market attachment following maternity leave will assist her in
re-entering the labour force, improve her job opportunities and assist
with ensuring long term economic security for herself and her family.
While many women will choose to remain out of the labour force to provide
full time care for their children, this does not discount the fact that
many women will need or choose to return to work, and that there are
long term economic benefits for many women attached to returning to
paid work.

Depending on the
structure of a paid maternity leave system, workforce incentives will
operate in a number of ways.

  • A payment that
    is limited to women in employment would encourage more women to work
    up to the point of childbirth in order to qualify for the payment.
    This increased engagement with work may also result in more women
    returning to work following child birth.
  • Currently women
    with less than 12 months employment with a current employer are likely
    to have to resign in order to take a period of extended leave at the
    birth of a child. Introducing a system of paid maternity leave that
    allowed these women to return to the position they held prior to taking
    leave would mean that a proportion of these women would not resign
    and would return to work following the paid maternity leave period.
  • A period of
    paid maternity leave would allow women to ameliorate the costs associated
    with leaving the workforce and may reduce the need for financially
    motivated lifestyle changes. As such, more women would be assisted
    to make the transition back to work following maternity leave.
  • Introducing
    an employer funded maternity leave payment, one of the options discussed
    in Chapter 12, would generate goodwill between the employee and employer
    and create loyalty. This would provide an incentive for a proportion
    of women to return to work.

Structuring a paid
maternity leave system to assist women to maintain their labour force
attachment will particularly benefit women whose attachment to the workforce
is marginal, who are in low income households and at risk of poverty
and who wish or need to return to work.

Women who return
to work relatively early in their child's life are more likely to retain
their skill and expertise and therefore continue to earn reasonable
incomes. Fagan and Rubery have found, based on cross-national studies,
that women who continue to work during the pre-school years of their
first child are more likely to remain in continuous employment thereafter. [134] This is important in the absence of more extensive
retraining programmes for women returning to work.

Research on women
who take extended career breaks found that women who take time out from
the paid workforce experience a significant decline in skills. [135] By the time many mothers return to work, when their youngest child is
five years of age, [136] the loss of skills and labour
force experience may have begun to limit their opportunities.

In addition, for
employees returning from maternity leave, negotiating changes to working
hours is likely to be easier with an employer with whom a woman has
an existing employment relationship rather than negotiating specific
hours at the interview stage for a new job.

Labour market attachment
gains increased significance when considered in the context of changes
to the Australian labour market, and in particular, the significant
and lasting increases in the rate of unemployment and the numbers of
people receiving government income support since the early 1970s. [137]

In its 2000 Interim
Report, the Reference Group on Welfare Reform noted the increasing incidence
of jobless families in Australia, a trend which is particularly evident
over the past few decades.

In June 1999,
some 160,000 couples with dependent children had neither parent in
paid work. At the same time, there were about 280,000 jobless lone
parent households. These households contained around 860,000 children,
representing 17 per cent of dependent children in Australia. Data
collected by the OECD (1998) indicate that Australia has one of the
highest levels of joblessness among families with children in OECD
countries. [138]

Evidence shows
that, in the current labour market, once labour market attachment has
been lost the unemployed are likely to become either long term unemployed
or revolve through a series of short term jobs. [139] Many of the new jobs are 'precarious', that is temporary, casual or
intermittent. An ABS longitudinal study found a large amount of labour
market 'churning', where people remain in the labour market but are
cycled in and out of work without finding a long term secure job. [140] The ABS found that in May 1995, the number of job seekers totalled 875
000. [141] Between May 1995 and September 1996, about
70 per cent of these people worked for some period of time, however
about two thirds of these jobs were casual and 90 per cent were short
term. [142]

International
evidence

While providing
women in Australia with up to 12 months unpaid leave is demonstrably
able to increase labour market attachment, evidence for the role of
paid maternity leave in enhancing labour market attachment is best evidenced
by international experience.

International evidence
from the United Kingdom and the USA supports increased rates of return
to work where paid maternity leave is provided.

A major study of maternity leave and employee decision making in the
United Kingdom found that the more generous the pay for maternity leave
the higher the proportion of women who chose to return to work. [143] The United Kingdom has government funded paid maternity leave of between
18 and 29 weeks depending on length of service, which may be supplemented
by employer payments at their discretion.

The research found
that women receiving additional payments from employers were almost
three times as likely to return to work for the same employer as women
receiving minimum entitlements. Women receiving additional periods of
maternity leave, but at the basic level of payments, were almost twice
as likely to return to work as women entitled to the minimum period
of leave. The entitlement to additional benefits was a greater predictor
of return to work for women having a second or subsequent child. [144]

The USA Commission
on Leave was created with the enactment of the Family and Medical
Leave Act
1993 and was given the task of examining the Act's impact
on workers and employers. The Commission undertook two major research
surveys to provide statistically valid and reliable information on the
national impact of these policies. The final report of the Commission
on Leave in 1996 found that

[e]mployees in
the lowest family income category who had returned to work (less than
$20,000 annually), and leave-takers with no wage replacement at all,
are most likely not to return to work to the same employer….
This suggests that a leave-taker's level of compensation influences
the decision about whether to return to work. Conversely, employees
with higher family incomes, working at covered worksites and receiving
full wage replacement are more likely to return to their same employers.
Not surprisingly, then, salaried employees and unionised workers are
more likely to return to their employers.

Leave-takers
with full wage replacement are far more likely than those with either
partial or no wage replacement to return to their employers after
leave. Indeed, 94.2 per cent of those leave-takers who were fully
paid, (compared with 73.8 per cent of those who were partially paid
and 76.5 per cent of those who were not paid at all) returned to their
same employer after taking leave. [145]

Australian evidence

There is no equivalent
research on this issue in Australia. However, as the following examples
show, a number of individual organisations record substantial increases
in return to work rates following the introduction of paid maternity
or parental leave entitlements, suggesting that the United Kingdom results
would be equally applicable to Australia.

  • Westpac Banking
    Corporation introduced six weeks paid maternity leave in 1995. The
    proportion of women returning to work from maternity leave increased
    from 32 per cent in 1995 to 53 per cent in 1997. [146]
  • AMP reported
    an increase in retention rates from 52 per cent in 1992 to 90 per
    cent in 1997, following the introduction of paid parental leave. [147]
  • Hewlett Packard
    reported a greater than 90 per cent retention rate for staff returning
    from paid maternity leave. [148]
  • SC Johnson recorded
    100 per cent return rates since introducing paid maternity leave. [149]
7.5.2 Loss of earnings

It is usual for
mothers to forego earnings as a result of absences from the labour force.
For 1997, Gray and Chapman calculated the foregone lifetime post-tax
earnings of women as $162 000 for the first child. [150] Additional losses of $12 000 and $15 000 come with a second and third
child respectively. [151] This loss is less than
that projected in 1986, which Gray and Chapman attributed to increasing
numbers of women with small children being in paid employment and the
use of maternity leave. [152]

A recent United
Kingdom study found that low skilled mothers forego substantially greater
amounts of lifetime earnings than mid and highly skilled women. The
study claimed that motherhood reduced a low skilled woman's earnings
by more than the gender gap attributable to lesser hours, education
and sex discrimination. [153]

For the young woman
deciding on maternity, this loss of income constitutes a cost to be
weighed against the benefits of motherhood. Paid maternity leave reduces
the amount of lost earnings by providing direct compensation for a specified
period, and by increasing women's attachment to the labour force following
the birth of a child through assisting return to work. [154]

7.5.3 Retirement incomes

Maternity leave
paid to employees who return to the workforce, perhaps after some additional
period of unpaid leave, enables women to maintain continuous connection
with the workforce during a period of time that is not only their prime
child-bearing years but also important working years. Returning to work
enables mothers to retain continuity of superannuation coverage and
to provide more adequately for their retirement years. As provision
for retirement has become increasingly the responsibility of the individual,
continuity of coverage has risen in importance.

This is not to
suggest that women must return to the paid workforce as quickly as possible
for the sake of their superannuation. There are a number of superannuation
alternatives currently available to women and couples that are designed
to enable women to return to paid work over a period of time taking
into account their family responsibilities. However, such measures have
largely been unsuccessful in addressing women's limited superannuation.
For example, voluntary spouse contributions and the associated tax rebate
have had a minimal impact on women's superannuation due to a much lower
take up rate than projected. [155] Alternative policy
approaches should be developed to ensure the adequacy of women's retirement
savings.

Compulsory superannuation
contributions have dramatically increased the number of Australians
with superannuation. ABS estimates suggest that 78 per cent of men aged
15-69 have superannuation. For women, 71 per cent of those aged 15-69
have some level of superannuation. [156]

Despite relatively
high levels of superannuation coverage, women are substantially more
likely to have lower levels of superannuation savings than men. Chart
7.1 shows the proportion of men and women with particular total superannuation
balances in June 2000.

Chart 7.1
Chart 7.1 - Total Superannuation Balance - Males and Females. If you require this informaiton in a more accessible format please email webfeedback@humanrights.gov.au
Source: ABS 6360.0 Superannuation:
Coverage and financial characteristics Australia April - June 2000.

Projections suggest
that women will continue to have substantially lower superannuation
balances than men. Clare recently reported various research findings
demonstrating that women's current and projected superannuation savings
are significantly less than men's. One estimate is that an average balance
for men in 2004 will be $74 000, while for women it will be $40 000.
Projected to 2019 the figures for men and women were $121 000 and $77
000 respectively. [157]

Clare attributes
these lesser contributions to a range of factors including women's lower
labour force participation rate and part time employment. He calculates
that

[w]omen currently
work 35.8 per cent of total paid hours, up only 0.2 percentage points
from five years earlier. For those hours they receive an hourly pay
rate on average of only 0.89 times that for men. Putting the two together
suggests that employer contributions for women are at most 31.8 per
cent of those currently being received by men. [158]

Loss of superannuation
contributions for women during periods of unpaid maternity leave also
contributes to women's lower superannuation levels.

Under the current
system, limited labour market attachment and lower earnings following
the arrival of children have a significant negative impact on the accumulation
of superannuation. Women's lack of sufficient superannuation to support
themselves in retirement means that they are more likely to be reliant
on government income support during their retirement years - involving
an increased cost for government and in general a lower standard of
living than for self-funded retirees. By enabling more women to maintain
their labour force attachment, paid maternity leave could assist in
addressing limited retirement savings by many women.


QUESTIONS

Q.17 Do
you consider that a paid maternity leave scheme would provide appropriate
support for women and families with new babies?
Q.18 Are
there particular design elements for a paid maternity leave system that
would be crucial for providing appropriate support for women and families?
If so, what are they?
Q.19 Are
you aware of any additional international or Australian evidence or
studies that document the effectiveness of paid maternity leave in supporting
women and families?

CHAPTER
8: Objective - benefits to employers

8.1
Commercial benefits of paid maternity leave

8.1.1 Introduction

While there are
significant social and family based benefits to be gained from providing
support to new mothers, employers also benefit from supporting their
employees to accommodate work and family responsibilities. Apart from
increased productivity through enhanced employee loyalty, research shows
that paid parental leave can reduce attrition rates, particularly for
women, and encourage women to return to the workforce earlier. For many
employers this enables them to retain women staff who may otherwise
have decided not to return to work.

8.1.2 The business case
for paid maternity leave

In establishing
the business case for paid maternity leave, it is necessary to consider
both the costs and benefits to employers of any system. Introducing
paid maternity leave would impose an additional cost on employment in
Australia that would need to be borne by government, individual employers
or spread across all employers. [159] A system that
required individual employers to pay the full cost of paid maternity
leave for their employees may result in some employers paying a greater
cost than the benefit they receive, depending on the nature of their
business.

Employers often
cite the importance of attracting and retaining good employees as the
basis for implementing paid parental leave policies. A case study of
Australian organisations providing paid maternity leave found that the
decision to introduce paid maternity leave was linked to the organisation's
business goals of providing excellent service to clients by retaining
highly skilled employees and reducing the costs of recruitment. [160] Other business rationales for introducing paid maternity leave included
being recognised as an employer of choice and the benefit this has in
attracting skilled staff, which is crucial to competitiveness. [161]

The cost of replacing
a staff member is significant. Costs include the following. [162]

  • Separation
    costs - undertaking exit interviews and administrative costs associated
    with deletion of the employee from the payroll, separation certificates
    and references and completing personnel files.
  • Replacement
    costs - including time taken to place an advertisement, human resources
    time in preparing the advertisement and responding to telephone enquiries
    about the advertisement, cost of placing the advertisement, cost of
    short listing applicants and interviewing costs.
  • Training costs
    - induction training and training in the organisation's systems and
    processes to specific professional training. There is a reduced investment
    return to employers for training provided to an employee who does
    not return from maternity leave.
  • Loss of productivity
    - this component factors in the greater efficiency an experienced
    employee contributes to the organisation compared with a new employee.
    Other things being equal, a new employee does not perform at optimal
    efficiency immediately. The period over which an employee builds his
    or her skills to that of an experienced employee is a period of loss
    to the employer.

Other costs may
include the extra cost of providing temporary cover to absorb the workload
of the departing employee until a replacement is found and lost business
opportunities because of customer relationships with that staff member.

Obviously the overall
cost will vary according to the organisation, the length of service
of the employee concerned, the skills required of the employee and other
industry or occupational factors. Various organisations have attempted
to quantify these costs with the following estimates being offered.

  • In 1996 Westpac
    Banking Corporation calculated that replacement costs were $40 000
    for a staff member with eight years experience and $60 000 for a senior
    manager. [163] As the age at which women have their
    first child increases, replacement costs are likely to rise.
  • Even in less
    skilled positions, recruitment costs are significant. A major retailer
    has found that it costs a minimum of $3 800 to recruit a new full
    time employee. [164] This does not include calculations
    for training costs or loss of experience.
  • It is estimated
    that the cost to retailers of staff turnover is $397 million, including
    training, lost productivity and recruitment and separation costs. [165]

Paid maternity
leave increasingly provides a competitive advantage to those firms who
are able to afford to offer such a scheme. In the absence of a national
system of paid leave, a number of Australian companies are already using
paid maternity leave to attract and retain high quality staff. Women
anticipating child bearing, who have significant qualifications and
experience or who work in areas of labour shortages, may increasingly
seek out employers providing paid leave entitlements.

This not only widens
the pay gap but also the social advantage gap between skilled and unskilled
workers and between those in highly competitive versus those in less
competitive industries and companies.

For those companies,
in particular small businesses, with a high component of operating costs
tied up in wages and operating on narrow profit margins, employer-provided
paid maternity leave may disproportionately affect wage costs and in
some cases be unaffordable. Organisations unable to afford paid maternity
leave will be more likely to have women resign or not return to work
following maternity leave. It may also make it more difficult for them
to recruit women.

Mixed views were
expressed about this issue in consultations with the Sex Discrimination
Commissioner. While some employer groups expressed concern about the
industrial disadvantage currently experienced, others considered this
was an acceptable part of the competitive environment. Other groups
were more concerned with the impact of non-mandated paid leave on the
widening social support gap between skilled and unskilled workers.


QUESTIONS

Q.20 Do
you agree that a paid maternity leave scheme would provide commercial
benefits for employers?
Q.21 To
what extent would paid maternity leave create workforce incentives for
women to maintain labour force attachment?
Q.22 Are
there particular design elements for a paid maternity leave system that
would ensure commercial benefits to employers? If so, what are they?
Q.23 Are
you aware of any additional international or Australian evidence or
studies that document the commercial benefits to employers of paid maternity
leave?

CHAPTER
9: Objective - benefits to society

9.1
Economic benefits to society

In addition to
the economic benefits for individuals and employers outlined in Chapters
7 and 8, continued labour force participation by women following the
birth of a child also has economic benefits for the community at large.
This section outlines those economic benefits.

9.1.1 Economic growth

Developing and
maintaining a highly skilled workforce contributes to Australia's international
competitiveness. Increased labour market participation and the retention
of skilled employees raises productivity levels for both individual
enterprises and the economy more broadly, which in turn contributes
to economic growth.

The importance
of human capital for Australia's economic growth has been acknowledged
by both government and business groups. For example, the Business Council
of Australia recently commented that

…the skills,
ingenuity and knowhow of our people will be the primary determinant
of our social, political and economic success. [166]

In the longer term,
Australia's ageing population will place greater importance on ensuring
maximum levels of workforce participation by those of workforce age.
In the absence of increased fertility or an age specific immigration
programme this will be necessary to ensure the adequacy of the tax base
and support the increase in the ratio of dependents to contributors.

To the extent that
paid maternity leave encourages women to return to work it will contribute
to improved productivity and economic growth. The potential contribution
is even greater when the emergence of professional women as a significant
proportion of the available skilled labour pool is considered. At present
25.3 per cent of women in the workforce are managers, administrators
or professionals. [167]

9.1.2 Return on investment
in education and training

Women work for
a combination of financial, social and personal reasons. Many have invested
years and considerable money in their education and training and expect
to earn a reasonable return on this investment through their participation
in paid work. In addition to this personal investment, there is also
a substantial community investment in education and training, with significant
public funds being required. In 2000, women made up 57.9 per cent of
all bachelor degree commencements, and the ABS found that females made
up 45.8 per cent of Australians with post-school qualifications. [168]

Current maternity
arrangements often do not enable women to derive the same level of return
from their professional investment as men. In particular the absence
of paid maternity leave constitutes a significant amount of foregone
income, as does the decision to leave the workforce to care for children.
Women may choose to invest in their careers and deny themselves motherhood
in order to maximise their return. Their decision will be based on balancing
a number of economic considerations against the personal fulfilment
and rewards of motherhood. Alternatively, women may under-invest in
their education and training despite their abilities, resulting in a
loss for both themselves and society.

9.1.3 Return to government

Paid maternity
leave is already available to most federal public servants. Extending
it to the private sector would constitute a business subsidy. Extending
it to all women with children would constitute a welfare and business
measure. The total cost of the subsidy would depend on eligibility and
the level of payment.

The benefit of
paid maternity leave to government lies in the provision of an equitable
measure that supports the decision to combine work and family being
made by an increasing number of Australian families.

Depending on the
nature and duration of the paid leave, women will be able to take appropriate
time from work during those first vital months of a child's life leading
to potential savings in health and welfare expenditure.

A means-tested
payment would limit the cost to government and may provide better targeting
in the case of limited government funding. A non-means tested payment
would recognise that a woman, whatever her family's income, needs to
be able to make a real choice between paid work and remaining with her
infant during the first few months of life.

Longer term implications
of a paid maternity leave scheme that encourages greater female attachment
to the workforce include improved taxation revenues and reduced retirement
welfare expenditure. Self-funded retirement is more possible for women
who retain their attachment to the workforce. Welfare support for families
during periods of crisis or breakdown is also likely to be reduced if
women have remained in some form of paid employment. Costs involved
in retraining and reskilling women to return to the workforce after
periods of absence would also be reduced.

9.2
Social benefits

Encouraging and
assisting parents to raise their children has significant social benefits.
These include ensuring the ongoing viability and social cohesion of
communities. The social importance of supporting maternity and parenting
is recognised in a range of international instruments, as well as being
well supported in domestic legislation and programmes.

The United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF) considers that 'the healthy development of
children is crucial to the future well-being of any society'. [169]

The Convention
on the Rights of the Child (CROC) recognises the importance of and social
responsibility for children. Australia is amongst the 191 countries
that have ratified this convention. CROC establishes the human rights
of children, and the role of government in supporting and promoting
these rights. CROC recognises the primary role of parents in raising
children, and obliges governments to support parents in this role. [170]

The social significance
of maternity is also included in the preamble as a foundation of CEDAW.

The Federal Government
has recognised the importance of supporting maternity and families through
legislation, direct payments and programmes. For example, the Stronger
Families and Communities Strategy
'focuses on community involvement
in strengthening families and communities' by providing funding for
community level projects. [171]

Paid maternity
leave is one possible mechanism for recognising and supporting the social
benefit of maternity and increasing women's choices around childbearing.

9.3
National fertility and population policy

Australia's birth
rate is currently below replacement rate. There is a view that the declining
birth rate is in part the result of the financial, professional and
social disadvantage encountered by families. It is also the consequence
of the greater opportunities provided to women, resulting in maternity
being only one of a number of life options available to them. Having
children, if not avoided altogether, is often delayed. In addition,
extended periods of education and training, now lasting until young
people are well into their twenties, also delays the onset of family
formation for both men and women. This further contributes to a reduction
in the number of children born to each family over a given period.

A declining birth
rate has a range of negative implications for the long term wealth and
prosperity of Australia.

This section provides
an overview of current fertility trends in Australia, outlines the significance
of these trends, and considers ways of addressing the declining birth
rate.

9.3.1 Current trends in
fertility

In 2000 there were
249 600 births in Australia, [172] representing a
fertility rate of 1.75, [173] down from 3.6 in 1961. [174]

The median age
of Australian mothers has risen from 26.3 years in 1978 to 29.8 years
in 2000. [175] In 2000, women were most likely to
have children between the ages of 30 and 34. [176] A significant majority of children are born to mothers aged 25-34. [177] The most significant drop over the past forty years has been in births
to women aged 20-24. [178]

Three quarters
of Australia's total birth rate is accounted for by first and second
births; 43 per cent were first births, and 32 per cent were second births,
indicating that the majority of women who are mothers will at most have
two children. [179]

The fertility levels
of women also appear to be inversely related to their attachment to
the labour force, educational attainment and income, with this relationship
strongest among younger women. [180] For women with
these characteristics there is most likely to be a significant opportunity
cost in leaving the workplace, even if only temporarily, to have a child.

9.3.2 Significance
of the fertility rate

Projections suggest
that the natural increase in population in Australia will begin to fall
in the 2030s. Immigration at current rates will only keep Australia's
population growing for about 20 years beyond this. [181] In a stable population with a total fertility rate of 1.7 per cent,
population size would drop to 50 per cent of its initial size in a 100
year period. Low birth rates also imply that as the population decreases,
it ages.

The ageing of the
population and the increase in the number of non-working Australians
compared to those in the workforce raises issues for long term social
support. The number of people in the tax paying ages will shrink and
bear a higher tax burden to support those in the 65 years and over group.

Strategies for
addressing the consequences of this demographic shift to a declining
and older population include

  • providing better
    support for families so that they choose to have more children;
  • extending working
    life spans;
  • encouraging
    labour force participation of those of workforce age; and
  • increasing inward
    migration (often seen only as a temporary solution).

These strategies
can assist by either raising the size of population or reducing the
dependency ratio so that there is a higher ratio of tax payers to users
of social services and consequently a more adequate provision of essential
government services.

9.3.3 Addressing the declining
birth rate

As noted above,
one option for addressing the declining fertility rate is to consider
ways in which society can better support families so that they choose
to have more children. This approach recognises the social benefit of
children and maternity and the community's concomitant responsibility
to provide some assistance and support for families raising children.

Economic, psychological,
social and cultural reasons are all important determinants of whether
people choose to have children. However, as McDonald has argued, 'if
the economic costs of children rise, some individual psychological thresholds
will be crossed and decisions will be made not to have the next child'. [182] History bears this out; fertility rates declined
during the Great Depression and rose to such record levels during a
sustained period of post war prosperity that the period became known
as the Baby Boom.

Paid maternity
leave is one possible mechanism for ensuring that economic considerations
do not prevent families from choosing to have children and better enabling
women to combine work and family as they choose.

While significant
attention is now given to work and family policies, raising a family
and working continues to present challenges and problems for women.
While workplace culture has changed significantly with the introduction
of anti-discrimination legislation and the dramatic rise in women's
workforce participation, direct support for women with children is limited.

McDonald has written
extensively on this issue [183] and in light of international
comparisons argues that in societies that offer women comparatively
equal educational and employment opportunities to men but do not facilitate
continued opportunities once women have children, women will restrict
the number of children that they have. [184] Women
will choose not to have children because of the opportunity cost involved.
This is reflected in the lower birth rate for employed women in Australia.
Systems that fail to accommodate continued opportunities can include
taxation arrangements that penalise second income earners and limited
access to family friendly workplace arrangements.

Other commentators,
such as Anne Manne, argue that women are most likely to have children
when they can provide care themselves. [185] Large
government investment in subsidising work and family policies, such
as child care, she argues is a high price to pay for marginal increases
in fertility rates.

It is difficult
to argue that a period of paid maternity leave alone will enable more
women to choose to exercise their right to have children. A period of
weeks compared with the long years of financial dependency is not necessarily
significant. It is most likely to provide the necessary support to those
women for whom remaining in paid work is essential. For those couples
who save money in order to afford each child, a period of paid leave
enables them to bring forward their decision to do so and may encourage
some to have the additional child they had wanted. As part of a suite
of family-enabling work provisions however, paid maternity leave would
also play a useful role in enabling more women to effectively combine
work and motherhood.


QUESTIONS

Q.24 Do
you agree that a paid maternity leave scheme would provide benefits
to society?
Q.25 Are
there particular design elements for a paid maternity leave scheme that
would be crucial for imparting social benefits? If so, what are they?
Q.26 Are
you aware of any additional international or Australian evidence or
studies that document the social benefits of paid maternity leave?

99.
The relevant sections are s 5, which makes sex discrimination unlawful
and s 7 which makes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy unlawful.
See s 7A for discrimination on the grounds of family responsibilities.
Family responsibilities discrimination is only unlawful under the Sex
Discrimination Act where it involves dismissal.
100. See for example sch 14 cl 12 Workplace Relations
Act
1996 (Cth). This Act only applies to full time and part time
employees. Casual employees may have these rights under state legislation
or awards.
101. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Annual Report 2000 - 2001
HREOC Sydney 2001, 73. Note that, in addition,
many complaints of family responsibilities are brought as indirect sex
discrimination complaints under the Sex Discrimination Act.
102. s 7B Sex Discrimination Act.
103. Therese MacDermott "Who's rocking the cradle?"
(1996) 21(5) Alternative Law Journal 207-212 at 211.
104. International Labour Organization Maternity Report
V(1) Protection at Work Revision of the Maternity Protection Convention
(Revised) 1952 (No. 103) and Recommendation 1952 (No. 95)
International
Labour Conference 87th Session Geneva 1999, 5; and see also Women's
Legal Services Network (submission no. 94) in Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission Pregnant and Productive: It's a right not
a privilege to work while pregnant
HREOC Sydney 2001, 231.
105. See for example Australian Council of Trade Unions
(submission no. 59) in Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Pregnant and Productive: It's a right not a privilege to work while
pregnant
HREOC Sydney 2001, 231.
106. International Labour Organization Maternity
Report V(1) Protection at Work Revision of the Maternity Protection
Convention (Revised) 1952 (No. 103) and Recommendation 1952 (No. 95)
International Labour Conference 87th Session Geneva 1999, 31, emphasis
added.
107. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Pregnant and Productive: It's a right not a privilege to work while
pregnant
HREOC Sydney 2001, 178.
108. B Curtis AMP's Corporate Diversity Unpublished
speech delivered at Transforming Management Conference
18 September 2001.
109. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements
and Superannuation April - June 2000
unpublished data.
110. Australian Council of Trade Unions Job Security
and Casual Work Fact Sheet
Australian Council of Trade Unions Melbourne
2001.
111. See the discussion at Section 2.4.
112. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations
and Small Business Work and Family State of Play 1998 Commonwealth
of Australia Canberra 1998, 28-29.
113. ABS 6254.0 Career Experience Australia November 1998, 10-11.
114. ABS 6254.0 Career Experience Australia November 1998, 10-11.
115. ABS 6361.0 Survey of Employment Arrangements
and Superannuation April - June 2000
unpublished data.
116.
Health aspects of maternity leave and maternity protection as discussed
in a statement to the International Labour Conference 2 June 2000: www.who.int/reproductive
health/publicatins/French_FPP_93_3/Health_aspects_of_maternity_leave.en.html
117. Health aspects of maternity leave and maternity
protection as discussed in a statement to the International Labour Conference
2 June 2000: www.who.int/reproductive health/publicatins/French_FPP_93_3/Health_aspects_of_maternity_leave.en.html
118. International Labour Organization Maternity
Report V(1) Protection at Work Revision of the Maternity Protection
Convention(Revised) 1952 (No.103) and Recommendation 1952 (No.95)
International
Labour Conference 87th Session Geneva 1999, 7.
119. International Labour Organization C183 Maternity
Protection Convention
Geneva 15 June 2000 and International Labour
Organization R191 Maternity Protection Recommendation Geneva 15 June
2000. Further detail on this Convention is at Chapter 3.
120. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Pregnant and Productive: It's a right not a privilege to work while
pregnant
HREOC Sydney 1999, 178.
121. Health aspects of maternity leave and maternity
protection as discussed in a statement to the International Labour Conference
2 June 2000: www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publicatins/French_FPP_93_3/Health_aspec…
122. Australian Medical Association Position Statement:
Breast-Feeding:
domino.ama.com.au/AMAWeb/Position.nsf
123. Department of Health and Aged Care National
Breastfeeding Strategy Summary Report
Commonwealth of Australia
Canberra 2001, 2.
124. Jane Svensson et al Breastfeeding and You:
A handbook for antenatal educators
Commonwealth of Australia Canberra
2000, 7.
125. ABS data on breastfeeding from the 1995 National
Health Survey
AGPS Canberra 1995 quoted in Jane Svensson et al Breastfeeding
and You: A handbook for antenatal educators Commonwealth of Australia
Canberra 2000, 7.
126. Department of Industrial Relations Guide to
Combining Breastfeeding and Work:
www.dewrsb.gov.au/workplacerelations/workandfamily/breastfeedingguide/d…
127. G Stamp and C Crother "Breastfeeding - Why
start? Why stop? A prospective study of South Australian women"
(1995) 3(1) Breastfeeding Review 18.
128. S Cox and C Turnbull "Choosing to breastfeed
or bottle-feed - An analysis of factors which influence choice"
(1994) 11(10) Breastfeeding Review 459-464.
129. K Auerbach and E Guss "Maternal employment
and breastfeeding" (1984) 138 American Journal of Diseases of
Children
959.
130. K Auerbach and E Guss "Maternal employment
and breastfeeding" (1984) 138 American Journal of Diseases of
Children
960.
131. Belinda Probert Grateful Slaves or Self Made
Women: A matter of choice or policy?
Clare Burton Memorial Lecture
Melbourne 2001, 12-13.
132. Lyndy Bowman and Graeme Russell Work and Family:
Current thinking, research and practice
Macquarie Research Limited
Sydney 2000, 16.
133. Cited in Rebecca Valenzuela "Costs of children
in Australian households" (1999) 53 Family Matters 71-76
at 73-74. See also Lucy Sullivan Taxing the Family Centre for
Independent Studies Policy Monograph 50 Sydney 2001, 47.
134. C Fagan and J Rubery "Transitions between
family formation and paid employment" in G Schmid et al (eds) International Handbook of Labour Market Policy and Evaluation Edward
Elgar Cheltenham 1997, 348-378 at 350.
135. Russell J Rimmer and Shelia Rimmer More Brilliant
Careers: The effect of career breaks on women's employment
Department
of Employment, Education and Training Canberra 1994.
136. See the statistics on return to work in Appendix
A.
137. Bond and Whiteford in Reference Group on Welfare
Reform Participation Support for a More Equitable Society: The interim
report of the reference group on welfare reform
Department of Family
and Community Services Canberra 2000, 10.
138. Reference Group on Welfare Reform Participation
Support for a More Equitable Society: The Interim Report of the Reference
Group on Welfare Reform
Department of Family and Community Services
Canberra 2000, 6.
139. ABS SEUPDATE Edition 3 Canberra 1997 quoted
in Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training
Australia at Work Prentice Hall Sydney 1999, 133.
140. ABS SEUPDATE Edition 3 Canberra 1997 quoted
in Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training
Australia at Work Prentice Hall Sydney 1999, 133.
141. ABS Australian National Accounts Canberra
1997 quoted in Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and
Training Australia at Work Prentice Hall Sydney 1999, 133.
142. ABS Australian National Accounts Canberra
1997 quoted in Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and
Training Australia at Work Prentice Hall Sydney 1999, 133.
143. Sonali Deraniyagala and Steve Lissenburgh The
Determinants of Women's Return to Work: Behaviour after childbirth and
the role of maternity benefits
Women's Unit UK Cabinet Office London
October 2000, 5.
144. Sonali Deraniyagala and Steve Lissenburgh The
Determinants of Women's Return to Work: Behaviour after childbirth and
the role of maternity benefits
Women's Unit UK Cabinet Office London
October 2000, 4-6.
145. The Family Leave Commission A Workable Balance:
Report to congress on family and medical leave policies
Family Leave
Commission San Francisco 1996, 114.
146. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations
and Small Business Best Practice Work and Family Initiatives Commonwealth of Australia Canberra February 2000, 58.
147. George Trumbell "Creating a culture that's
good for business" in EM Davis and V Pratt (eds) Making the
Link: Affirmative action and industrial relations no. 8
Labour-Management
Studies Foundation Sydney 1997, 31-33 at 32.
148. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations
and Small Business ACCI National Work and Family Award Winners and
Finalists: Business benefits of paid maternity leave
Commonwealth
of Australia Canberra 2001, 2.
149. Department of Employment, Workplace Relations
and Small Business ACCI National Work and Family Award Winners and
Finalists: Business benefits of paid maternity leave
Commonwealth
of Australia Canberra 2001, 2.
150. Bruce Chapman and Matthew Gray "Foregone
earnings from child rearing: Changes between 1986 and 1997" (2001)
58 Family Matters 4 - 9 at 5.
151. Bruce Chapman and Matthew Gray "Foregone
earnings from child rearing: Changes between 1986 and 1997" (2001)
58 Family Matters 4 - 9 at 5.
152. Bruce Chapman and Matthew Gray "Foregone
earnings from child rearing: Changes between 1986 and 1997" (2001)
58 Family Matters 4 - 9 at 9.
153. Katherine Rake Women's Income Over the Lifetime:
A Report to the Women's Unit
Women's Unit UK Cabinet Office London
2000.
154. See for example in the UK context as discussed
in Sonali Deraniyagala and Steve Lissenburgh The Determinants of
Women's Return to Work Behaviour after Childbirth and the Role of Maternity
Benefits
Women's Unit UK Cabinet Office London October 2000, 5.
155. Ross Clare Women and Superannuation paper
presented to the Ninth Annual Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers
UNSW School of Economic and Actuarial Studies, Association of Superannuation
Funds Australia 2001, 15.
156. ABS 6360.0 Superannuation: Coverage and financial
characteristics Australia
April - June 2000, 4.
157. Ross Clare Women and Superannuation paper
presented to the Ninth Annual Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers
UNSW School of Economic and Actuarial Studies, Association of Superannuation
Funds Australia 2001, 22.
158. Ross Clare Women and Superannuation paper
presented to the Ninth Annual Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers
UNSW School of Economic and Actuarial Studies, Association of Superannuation
Funds Australia 2001, 23.
159. See discussion of options Chapter 12.
160. Kerry Brown and Rachel Wynd "Australian
employers' motivations for providing paid maternity leave" papers
from the AIRAANZ Conference Crossing Borders: Employment, work markets
and social justice across time, discipline and place
New South Wales
2001 volume 1, 357-363 at 362. The organisations in this study were
ABN AMRO, Bain International, SAS Institute of Australia and St George
Bank.
161. Kerry Brown and Rachel Wynd "Australian
employers' motivations for providing paid maternity leave" papers
from the AIRAANZ Conference Crossing Borders: Employment, work markets
and social justice across time, discipline and place
New South Wales
2001 volume 1, 357-363 at 362.
162. Derived from Department of Industrial Relations The Business Case for a Family Friendly Workplace Department
of Industrial Relations Canberra 1996; Equal Opportunity for Women in
the Workplace Agency website www.eowa.gov.au and Department of Employment,
Workplace Relations and Small Business Guide to Evaluating Work and
Family Strategies
Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 1997.
163. NSW Department of Industrial Relations The Business
Case for a Family Friendly Workplace DIR Sydney 1996, 11.
164. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
consultation with Phil Naylor, CEO Australian Retailers Association
19 September 2001; Australian Retailers Association, Department of Employment
and Workplace Relations and Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace
Agency Balancing the Till: Increasing profits and building a better
workforce Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2002, 11.
165. Australian Retailers Association, Department
of Employment and Workplace Relations and Equal Opportunity for Women
in the Workplace Agency Balancing the Till: Increasing profits and building
a better workforce Commonwealth of Australia Canberra 2002, 7.
John Schubert Towards a Fair, Clean, Safe and Prosperous Australia Speech delivered at the Business Council of Australia Annual Dinner
Sydney
166. October 11 2001: www.bca.com.au/upload/speech_j_schubert_agm_2001.doc.
167. ABS 6203.0 Labour Force Australia September
2001, 51.
168. ABS 4102.0 Australian Social Trends 2001 Australia 2001, 92.
169. UNICEF Why Make a Special Case for Children?:
www.unicef.org/crc/specialcase.htm.
170. art 5 and art 18 Convention on the Rights
of the Child
GA Res 44/25 20 November 1989.
171. Department of Family and Community Services Stronger
Families and Communities Strategy: Together we can make a difference:
www.facs.gov.au/sfcs/images/info_dl.pdf
172. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 2000, 8.
173. ABS 3301.0Births Australia 2000, 8.
174. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 2000, 46.
175. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 1998, 6.
176. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 2000, 16.
177. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 2000, 16.
178. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 2000, 46.
179. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 2000, 41.
180. ABS 3301.0 Births Australia 2000, 6.
181. Allison Barnes Low Fertility: A discussion
paper
Department of Family and Community Services Canberra 2001,
v.
182. Peter McDonald "The toolbox of public policies
to impact on birth - A global view" Paper prepared for the Annual
Seminar of the European Observatory on Family Matters, Low Fertility,
Families and Public Policies
Sevilla 15-16 September 2000, 5.
183. See for example Peter McDonald "Gender equity,
social institutions and the future of birth" (2000) 17 Journal
of Population Research
1-16.
184. Note that there is significant debate at the
national and international level on the causes of and solutions to low
fertility. For an alternative view that questions some of MacDonald's
arguments see Anne Manne "Women's preferences, fertility and family
policy: The case for diversity" (2001) 9(4) People and Place 6-25.
185. Anne Manne "Women's preferences, fertility
and family policy: The case for diversity" (2001) 9(4) People
and Place
6-25.