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.
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!
Join our New Mums Facebook Support Group
If you recently gave birth and would LOVE to connect with other new mums about all things baby health, and losing the baby weight, then look no further.
We are also here to help you become active after baby and stay on top of your health – be sure to check out our NEW MUMS FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP.
The Healthy Mummy has multiple private and JUDGEMENT-FREE groups you can access (for free) and exchange tips, tricks and experiences with other new mums.
It’s also a great place to get access to (and share) family-friendly recipes and Healthy Mummy Smoothie creations (which are known to help boost breast milk supply).