The Federal Government would not support any paid maternity leave system that would impose an additional financial burden on small business. Nor would it act in any way to impose administrative complexity on small business. This is the pledge made by deputy prime minister, Julia Gillard, who has put a tax payer funded paid maternity leave back on the agenda today.
The Federal Government has announced that it will be directing the Productivity Commission to look at the effectiveness of different methods of support for parents with newborn children. The commission will also look at the likely impact on work and family preferences and workforce participation in general. It will examine how a tax payer funded scheme will work along side privately funded schemes that operate in the corporate sector.
Three senior cabinet ministers, including Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Family and Community Services, Jenny Macklin are working on the terms of reference for the commission. The commission is not expected to report back until next year.