Could paid maternity leave to be extended to 12 months in Australia?

Australian parents might soon be able to enjoy 12 months of PAID maternity leave.

The new push is coming from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), which says parental care is their preference for childhood development in the first year.

New mums are currently entitled to 18 weeks of paid maternity leave and partners just two weeks of paid leave; both paid on the National Minimum Wage by the government.

mum baby

Could a longer maternity leave be better for mum and children?

The longer maternity leave incentive comes from a Productivity Commission report, which found evidence that parental care leads to better developmental outcomes.

“The emotional and physical health, social skills, and cognitive-linguistic capacities that emerge in the early years are all important for success in school, the workplace, and in the larger community,” the report states.

Meanwhile, RACP President and Paediatrician Dr Jacqueline Small suggests that longer paid maternity leave would lead to higher rates of breastfeeding and lower rates of maternal depression.

“The evidence shows that exclusive parental care fosters improved maternal and child health with improved developmental outcomes for the child,” she said.

Maternity leave around the world

In the UK, statutory maternity leave payments are 39 weeks; Canada has two different schemes, with parents sharing between 40 and 69 weeks.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has previously revealed Labor’s intention to extend the paid parental leave program to 26 weeks.

However, he says right now, the government he’s been handed over from his predecessor is in a lot of debt.

So who knows?! Maybe 12 months of paid maternity leave will be a thing in the future!

This is how Australia’s Paid Parental Leave Stack Up Against The Rest Of The World.

Nearly half of mums in a new survey admit to feeling lonely while on maternity leave

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