42,000 take up parental leave scheme in first 3 months

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42,000 take up parental leave scheme in first 3 months

The first statistics on the take-up of the Federal Government’s new paid parental leave scheme show that 42,000 parents have applied for it and 4300 employers have registered to participate.

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The first statistics on the take-up of the Federal Government’s new paid parental leave (PPL) scheme show that 42,000 parents have applied for it and 4300 employers have registered to participate.
 
The scheme began on 1 January, and around 17,000 parents are already receiving payments under it.
 
The Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin, said low-income workers are the big winners, with the average income of applicants at $46,400.
 
‘These are the women who were most likely to have no access to paid parental leave before the Government-funded scheme,’ Macklin said.
 
ABS data showed that in 2008, just 17% of women on very low wages had access to paid parental leave, compared to 70% of women on high wages.
 
Minimum wage
 
The government’s PPL scheme provides eligible working parents with parental leave pay for up to 18 weeks at the national minimum wage (currently $570 a week before tax).
 
Parental leave pay can be transferred between parents, to give families more options to balance work and family.
 
Families who don’t qualify for PPL still have the option of the Baby Bonus and other family payments if eligible.
 
Parents can find out more by visiting the Family Assistance Office or by phoning 13 61 50.
 
Employers can find out more by visiting Centrelink or by contacting the Centrelink Business Hotline on 13 11 58.
 
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