Essays on Paid Parental Leave in Australia Case Study

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The paper "Paid Parental Leave in Australia " is an outstanding example of a business case study.   There is presently no provision or policy for paid parental leave in Australia and access to such leave is much restricted. Individual enterprise efforts determine the extent to which this leave is available in the community and private sectors and there is still very less knowledge about the basis on which individual companies and businesses introduce the practice of paid parental leave. This paper has drawn upon a number of case studies pertaining to the practices followed in this regard by some large organizations in Australia.

Different rationales and perspectives that influence the decisions in such organizations have been outlined in this paper along with the manner in which they are implemented. Paid parental leave continues to be a fundamental issue in effecting equal employment opportunities for women but research has indicated that the potential effect of such a practice is much curtailed by limitations that are imposed on formal entitlements. The basis for such leave is adversely impacted by the practical availability of other family benefits in the working and organizational environment. Internationally, paid parental leave has for long been recognized as an important issue.

The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) has recognized that paid parental leave has crucial importance in the working environment and the leave is most importantly, viewed as a means to avoid discrimination against women in regard to issues of marriage and maternity. It is also recognized that it is imperative to ensure that women are ensured their right to work and the leave becomes important in defraying the cost of bearing children across societies.

PPL also acts as a measure in promoting gender equalities and assisting in the combination of family and working lives. Paid parental leave is presently understood as being integral in enhancing a mother’ s connection with the working environment and the workforce, in addition to reducing the transitions from being in and out of the labor force. It is observed that the relationship amongst facilities of paid maternity leave and rate of labor force participation amongst women is complicated and depends upon the accessibility to other support facilities like lesser working hours and child care facilities.

The available evidence, however, is indicative of paid parental leave resulting in better employment outcomes as also economic security for female workers. As a fall out from such patterns, additional benefits also accrue to employers and to the entire economy in terms of higher levels of productivity. Australia is the only developed country along with the USA that does not have a national paid maternity leave policy. Currently, the statutory provisions do not provide for paid maternity leave in regard to permanent employees of the federal and state governments and for employees in private sector paid maternity leave depends solely on the basis of provisions set by the enterprises.

In some companies, the provision of PPL has been introduced in terms of collective agreements through unions arising from practices such as collective bargaining, voluntary management initiative or through registered agreements. However, the fact remains that most employed women in Australia do not have the facility of paid maternal leave.

According to ABS (2003), only 36% of women employees had the facility of paid maternity leave. The recent survey conducted in Australia indicated that 37% of women that were employed before the birth of their child had access to some forms of paid maternity leave, (Whitehouse et al, 2006). The issue of paid maternity leave is considered very important by both males and females in meeting their personal obligations in terms of national and personal interest.  

References

AHRI, The Parent Trap, (2009). The Parental Leave Debate, Australian Human Resources Institute

Baird, M. and Charlesworth S. (2007), After the Baby: A Qualitative Study of Working Time Arrangements Following Maternity Leave, Labour and Industry, vol. 17

Baird M and Litwin A, (2004), Unpaid and Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave in Australia: Access, Use, and Options for Broader Coverage, in M. Barry and P. Brosnan, New Economies, New Industrial Relations, Proceedings of the 18th AIRAANZ Conference, vol. 2, Abstracts and Papers, AIRAANZ, Brisbane, pp. 2-9

Charlesworth and Charlesworth, (2004). The Sex Discrimination Act and International Law, University of NSW Law Journal, vol. 27.

Charlesworth and Probert B (2005), Why some organisations take on family-friendly policies: the case of paid maternity leave, Refereed Papers vol 1, Proceedings of the 19th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, University of Sydney, 9-11 February 2005.

Flanagan K (2006). Consideration of Australia's Combined 4th and 5th Report by the Committee on the Elimination o fall Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Office for Women, Canberra,

Howard J, (2003). Giving Australian Families Choice,' Options no. 17, August 2003. , Accessed on 4 November 2009.

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2007), It's About Time, Women, Men, Work and Family, HREOC, Sydney.

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (2005). Submission to the Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Education Legislation Committee's Inquiry into the Workplace Relations Amendment Bill 2005,

Lewis and Smithson, (2001). Sense of entitlement to support for the reconciliation of employment and family life, Human Relations, vol. 45.

O'Neill, S. (2004), Paid Maternity Leave E-Brief, Parliamentary Library,

Whitehouse and Zetlin (1999). Family Friendly Policies: Distribution and Implementation in Australian Workplaces, The Economic and Labour Relations Review, vol. 9.

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