The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) continues its campaign against the Turnbull Government’s backflip on paid parental leave (PPL), with ANMF officials and a frontline nurse giving evidence to a Senate Inquiry in Melbourne today.
In its submission to the Inquiry, the ANMF maintains that the existing PPL system allows women to spend valuable time with their newborns, to breastfeed and bond, leading to better overall physical and mental health outcomes for mother and baby.
Furthermore, ANMF Acting Federal Secretary Annie Butler says that PPL leads to a range of economic benefits, including increased workforce participation by women, improved retention, increased productivity, profitability and employee morale, as well as bringing positive changes in long term wages for both men and women.
“As Australia’s largest union, with the highest number of female members, we will continue to provide the Inquiry with evidence showing how any changes to the current PPL system will have detrimental impacts on mothers who need to balance the role of caring for their babies, raising a family and staying connected to the workforce,” Ms Butler said today.
Mother-of-four Phoebe Brick, a Registered Nurse of 17 years, says she finds it “heartbreaking” that working women accessing their employer-funded and government parental leave entitlements have unfairly been described as “double dipping”.
“The role women take on when they are taking time out from their careers to raise a child, to raise a valuable future member of our society is significant. Bonding with their child is their priority but I believe it is the contribution that these women give to our communities at this same time that cannot be underestimated and deserves respect and therefore should be encouraged and supported,” Ms Brick will tell the Inquiry.
“I therefore find it heartbreaking on reflection that a Scheme which aims to understand this importance placed on a women’s life during this influential time in raising their newborns life be now seen as “double dipping”.
“The erosion of respect that I believe should be due to women for taking on this role is now significantly undermined by this term ‘double dipping’.”
The ANMF, with over 259,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
ANMF media inquiries: 0411 254 390.