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Maternity Leave/Allowance

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Julia, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    The government is currently considering a proposal from the Productivity Commission for a new maternity allowance whereby the taxpayer will fund 18 weeks leave for working mothers at the minimum wage, or about $12,000 in total.

    Initially it was reported that this would entirely replace the baby bonus, but now it seems that stay at home mothers will still receive the baby bonus, so nothing has changed in that regard.

    Apparently employers will have to fund this initially and then make a claim for a refund from the government. This would seem to be a rather unfair impost on small business.

    I can understand, I suppose, the thought that maternity leave will encourage more women to join the workforce, and I guess someone will have done the sums to work out that the $12,000 per person is a worthwhile investment, but I would really like to have seen the damn baby bonus wiped out.
    Just too many young women with too many kids - which they put into child care - who have never worked and see no reason to ever consider working as long as they can live quite happily on welfare.

    What do others think?
     
  2. Doris

    Doris Well-Known Member

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    Great post Julia!

    Is the baby bonus paid progressively now, rather than as a lump sum?
    - Not so attractive, even with the dole, for girls who didn't work at school and consider motherhood a 'career'.

    I agree it would entice more young mothers into the workforce as working would be a prerequisite to paid leave.

    Maybe these young girls will obtain employment as soon as they discover they are pregnant?
    They'd only have to work for a few months to get a much bigger stay-at-home pay.

    Is returning to work after the leave time, a prerequisite too? Is a Great Escape clause there?

    I was against this as I believe you plan and pay your own way.
    But in this economic climate two incomes are essential to pay for living/housing costs.
    And babies need one-to-one care in this vital first year of life.
     
  3. Whiskers

    Whiskers It's a small world

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    Indeed, sorta like expecting an employer to continue to pay people a wage the (dole) when they are stood down for awhile and claim a refund from centrelink for it.

    Also heard that it is only required to be employed for one year to qualify too... is that right?

    If they insist on keeping the baby bonus I can't see why they can't make a minimum eligibility age to be entitled to it... say 19 or 20, to at least deter young teenagers from getting pregnant just to get the cash.

    For me the Baby Bonus idea flies in the face of the whole notion of work for the dole and Howards clamp down on welfare entitlements.

    I agree with Doris, babies need plenty of that one on one care in the first year. My ex-wife had a few years off to have our two and similarly my daughter had a year off work (teaching) for her first... supported by partner in the interum.

    It just doesn't seem right when a young teacher works all those hours and has to pay some child care to go back to work while another young girl can just have a baby get the bonus plus welfare and few overheads like child care.
     
  4. nunthewiser

    nunthewiser Well-Known Member

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    may sound callous but hey truth usually is. as a small business owner in the service industry i would be rather inclined to not actually employ women of child bearing age based on current proposal. sorry but its hard enough out there as it is without another burden added
    cheers
    a callous nun
     
  5. Wysiwyg

    Wysiwyg Everyone wants money

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    This could also lead to potential child bearing women being unwanted by smaller business.You employ people to work for you, what they do in their out of work hours should not impact on the business.

    What is the point of the exercise anyway?Is there low reproduction rates in Australia?
     
  6. Whiskers

    Whiskers It's a small world

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    I understand the previous gov or Peter costello at least reckoned we needed to boost the population... I think he said something like have one for mum, one for dad and one for the country.

    I generally support the notion of paid maternity/paternity leave... but I also subscribe to the notion that you pay your own way and plan for children. To that end I think it will be more acceptable to small employers if it's tied in with annual, sick leave etc somehow, maybe with some help from the gov, rather than a whole additional impost.

    Agree here also.
     
  7. gav

    gav Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100%. If you want to a child, then that is your choice. Why should businesses have to pay you to do nothing, and try and find someone else who is willing to work for just 3 months whilst the mother is taking time off? Baby bonus is BS too IMO. Waste of tax payers money. If you cant afford the cost of living with just one parent working, then dont have a kid.

    What justification is there for all of this?
     
  8. Wysiwyg

    Wysiwyg Everyone wants money

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    Always a contentious issue.Give the coffer money to pensioners who have been forking out taxes from their teens.
     
  9. mayk

    mayk Well-Known Member

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    This is not fair, loyal husband take care of their lovely wives during Maternity, they should be compensated too. It is sexism at its extreme.... (J/K)

    I will support this given some conditions are met (working for over a year, long term employee etc. etc.)

    What is wrong with producing more babies, we have so much land to fill... Remember more babies mean more tax payers for the future. Politician in this case are not nearsighted but farsighted, they can see if the next generation is not bigger than the current one we will be in trouble.

    People should get inspiration from Sarah Palin, the VP candidate of USSA...
     
  10. chops_a_must

    chops_a_must Printing My Own Money

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    Yep.

    No way in the world would I look at employing a woman under 40 if this is actually the system.

    Can't see how it is fair if males aren't offered it also, and if people who chose not to, or couldn't, have kids, aren't given the equivalent payment on retirement...
     
  11. theasxgorilla

    theasxgorilla Problem solved... next bubble.

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    Small business should be treated different, no doubt.

    Males should get a similar benefit of lesser proportion...60-70% perhaps. People who don't want to have kids don't get it. It's an incentive to encourage people to have children and to make life better for them when they do.
     
  12. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    I should clarify that I think the scheme should be more appropriately described as maternity/paternity leave in that either the mother or father may stay home with the baby, or some of each. Sorry, I should have included that in my first post.

    Doris, yes, I think you're right in suggesting the baby bonus is now paid in instalments which is at least some improvement over the plasma TV buying one off payment.

    I'm not surprised at the comments from point of view of small business owners. I'd feel the same.
     
  13. Tysonboss1

    Tysonboss1 Well-Known Member

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    Australian workers already recieve more benefits for every hour of work they do than any other country.

    businesses already give hourly pay higher than most other counrty's + sick leave + 4 weeks holiday + 9% super + leave loading + public holidays etc etc.

    Now they want to add maternity leave, to all the rest of the family benefits.

    No wonder Australians can't compete in the manufacturing our work force is just to expensive.

    In australia if you need 8 people to run your business you actually need to high 9,.... because there would always be at least one person off work either on sick leave or annual leave.
     
  14. SM Junkie

    SM Junkie Well-Known Member

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    I think the maternity leave is a better idea than the baby bonus. If the ideology behind the bonus or leave is to allow working mothers to take the time off to have their children, then the leave makes much more sense and it then goes to the right place. Not as an incentive for those that can least afford it to continue to have children.

    But I think maternity leave should be goverment paid and the amount based on the number of years in the workforce prior to leave. Only wish it would come in now, my next child is due in 6 weeks.
     
  15. Prospector

    Prospector Not a scaredy cat anymore

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    Picture this - a small business employs a woman who after 12 months, is eligible to take maternity leave. So we then need to go through the costs of replacing her (recruitment process is very $$$) and then there is the lag time when they are learning the new job. Also, potentially a doubling up of salaries for maybe 2 weeks crossover. But because we have to hold the job open for 12 months, in case the original employee wants to return, we can only replace that person through a 12 month contract, which automatically changes the talent pool.

    After 12 months, the woman returns from Maternity leave as is her right. So we need to let the contract person go. But wait, the woman returning from maternity leave is four months pregnant again (she doesnt have to tell us this until much later in the pregnancy). Contract person has found other employment, and we start the whole thing all over again. Ad infinitum.

    This is under the current system. Now, paying their salary?

    We are lucky that we currently have women who are slightly older; they are really focussed and can do the work well. I just cant see this will do younger women a lot of favour if they wanting to seek employment in small businesses where continuity of people is important.
     
  16. dutchie

    dutchie Well-Known Member

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    Our company has adopted a policy of not employing women from now on. When the current ones leave they will be replaced by males.
     
  17. Prospector

    Prospector Not a scaredy cat anymore

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    Ah, I hope they don't commit that policy to writing!
     
  18. Calliope

    Calliope Well-Known Member

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    The baby bonus and the first home owner grant were two of Howard's mistakes. We are now seeing the repercussions. The first encouraged young women to have kids they couldn't afford to raise and the second encouraged young people to buy houses they can't pay off.

    As for the maternity allowance the justification seems to be ... because everybody else is doing it. As a taxpayer I think that couples, before they decide to have a kid, should consider whether they will be able to raise and educate it without excessive taxpayer funded handouts, even if it means living in a cheaper house and driving a used car.
     
  19. Prospector

    Prospector Not a scaredy cat anymore

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    You have pressed my trigger here! I get so worked up when I see families with multiple children, complaining because the Public housing they are living in, only has say, three bedrooms and they need at least six because of all the children they have. Errrrgh, :banghead: think about the consequences of having multiple children before you produce them! Like, hey, I might need a bigger house, a bigger car, pay more for groceries, education, health......and not go screaming to the Government to pay for them!
     
  20. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    The employer will also be responsible for the extra superannuation payments for the interim worker as well as the one who is on maternity leave.
    Gets better and better, huh?
     
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