Tag Archives: Paid parental leave

Ah, that old excuse

Apparently it’s ok to say something stupid and offensive if others said it first. According to Steve Fielding, that is: Others said it first: Fielding defends abortion loophole remark:

“I wasn’t the only one to raise this issue in the Senate yesterday.”

But Senator Fielding, when pressed to name the other senators, could not come up with any names.

Normally I can’t stand Christopher Pyne, but he makes a good point:

Senior Liberal Christopher Pyne said Senator Fielding’s position defied logic because welfare recipients were not eligible for the scheme.

“That points to an attempt to gain attention to his political campaign for re-election.”

Of course, Pyne would know all about using others for political gain.

And I missed this in Fielding’s comments yesterday, but clearly Ol’ Fieldyfield is bonkers:

“It is a policy that gives money to prisoners and prostitutes but ignores stay-at-home mums and the important unpaid work that they do.”

Um, what? Is he saying that female prisoners are getting pregnant in women-only jails and having babies? That sounds pretty unlikely. And are prostitutes getting pregnant at work? That also sounds pretty unlikely. And, of course, there’s the moral judgement that “stay-at-home mums” are more important than prostitutes and women in jail for any number of reasons. Wonder how he’ll fare at the next election? As Damien “I’m the new Annabel Crabb in the SMH” Murphy points out, 99.08 per cent of Victorians didn’t vote for him.

How to say you’ll discriminate without getting into trouble

Why is it suddenly ok for businesses to say they won’t hire someone based on their age and gender? We have laws against that, so why are journalists just reporting this nonsense, and not holding these groups to account? In today’s Courier-Mail, and picked up across the News Ltd network: Bosses warn maternity leave costs may hit jobs for women:

EMPLOYERS are warning Australia’s first national paid baby leave scheme could have hidden costs that make it harder for young women to find jobs.

Such a predictable journalese start to the story. What these employers really mean is that if they have to contribute to paid parental leave they won’t hire women. They even say that later in the story. And note, it’s parental leave, but it’s the women copping it. Sigh.

But CCIQ’s general manager of policy Nick Behrens said Queensland businesses advocated a scheme that did not require employers to manage and administer payments on behalf of the Government.

In the Senate submission on the plan, the CCIQ said companies could be hit with hidden costs by acting as “paymasters” for staff.

He said there could also be the “potential for discrimination in employing young people” and an “impact on the competitiveness and profitability of businesses in those industries that have a large number of female employees”.

That’s right – the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland says they don’t want to do the Government’s paperwork, so they’ll take it out on female employees and potential female employees. Classy.

Eat your carrots

Call me cynical but “introducing” paid maternity leave in 2011 is hardly a win when it’s after the next federal election. It’s like waving a giant carrot in front of the electorate. Certainly not the “jackpot”, Sydney Morning Herald.

Seriously Joe Hockey, is “the taxpayers will be slugged” the best you can do? Well duh. Why not just say “pull my finger” and fart at the camera if that’s all you’ve got. And if you think it’s acceptable for employers to now reconsider their own parental leave schemes – as you say they will – then you need to kick them up the backside. It is not acceptable, so stop playing politics with something that’s more important than you.

Uncle Kev’s paid parental leave

Do you think there will be paid parental leave in next week’s Budget? The Productivity Commission recommends 18 weeks at $544 a week. It would be Government funded and businesses would pay less than $5 a week for each employee on leave, so all those bosses saying it will cost them an arm and a leg can go and shove that arm and leg up their backsides.

C’mon Uncle Kev. In September you said “It’s time Australia bit the bullet on this”. Don’t do an ETS on this too.

Check out the Productivity Commission’s draft report into parental leave and the implications for employers.