Eight out of 10 people in favour of the government paying super on parental leave: Survey

paid parental leave

An overwhelming majority of people are supportive of the push to have superannuation paid on parental leave, according to a new survey.

A massive eight in 10 respondents to a recent survey conducted by professional accounting body CPA Australia indicated they thought superannuation should be paid on government paid parental leave.

1444 people were asked the question: “Do you think super should be paid on parental leave?”, with 80% indicating their support.

CPA Australia spokesperson Dr Jane Rennie said there is clear community support for paying superannuation on parental leave and it would help close the gender super gap that leaves so many women worse off in retirement.

“A CPA Australia survey of about 1500 people found 80% of respondents want the federal government to make this change,” Dr Rennie said.

“Australians are paid superannuation on sick leave and annual leave. There is no reason parents shouldn’t be paid super on parental leave. Paying super on parental leave is well worth it.

“Hundreds of thousands of Australian women would benefit.”

A recent report from AustralianSuper confirmed women in Australia tend to retire with about 42% less super than men, concluding that the retirement system doesn’t recognise the unpaid caring work women do throughout their lives.

Dr Rennie says time out of the paid workforce raising children contributes to the gender super gap and women’s financial insecurity in retirement.

“Mothers are overwhelmingly more likely to take time off to look after their new children than fathers,” she said.

“The Retirement Income Review investigated paying superannuation on parental leave and found it would help reduce the gap between men and women’s super balances. It’s well-established that paying super on parental leave will help improve gender equity.”

“Regardless of gender, no parent should be left behind simply because they take parental leave.”

CPA Australia previously pushed the Morrison government to revisit its decision not to pay superannuation on government paid parental leave.

The new Albanese government has not confirmed whether it will introduce the reform, saying it will consider it only after an audit of the previous government’s spending had been completed. Before the election, Anthony Albanese left the door open to the policy, but would not commit.

Stephen Jones, the new financial services minister, said the government wants to be able to introduce superannuation on paid parental leave, but it was too early to make a decision on whether it can be done in the first term of government.

“I want to see it happen, I do, that’s not a promise that we will. It’s all contingent on us being able to get the budget numbers right,”  Jones told Nine papers.

This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.


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