Paid Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave

Public inquiry

This inquiry has concluded. The final inquiry report was sent to Government on 28 February 2009 and was publicly released on 12 May 2009.

The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into paid maternity, paternity and paternal leave. The inquiry concentrated on support for parents of newborn children up to the age of two years.

The inquiry:

  • considered the economic, productivity and social costs and benefits of providing paid maternity, paternity and parental leave
  • assessed the current extent of employer-provided of paid maternity, paternity and parental leave in Australia
  • identified the models that could be used to provide such parental support and assess these against a number of criteria. These include their cost effectiveness; impacts on business; labour market consequences; work/family preferences of parents; child and parental welfare; and interactions with the Social Security and Family Assistance Systems
  • assessed the impacts and applicability of the various models across the full range of employment forms (such as the self-employed, farmers, and shift workers)
  • assessed the efficiency and effectiveness of Government policies that would facilitate the provision and take-up of these models.

Government response

As part of the 2009-10 Budget, the Australian Government announced its intention to introduce a Paid Parental Leave scheme. The scheme being introduced is closely based on that proposed in the Commission's final inquiry report.

Further information