Australia mulls increasing parental leave for working fathers
The Australian government is looking into granting parental leave of 20 weeks for working fathers once their child is born.
Currently, the primary caregiver in a relationship receives 18 weeks of paid leave at the minimum wage, while the non-primary caregiver, typically fathers, receives just two weeks of paid leave.
“Society has changed. A lot more men do want to play a role. And a lot of men do say they want to be the primary caregiver for some period of time,” said Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth.
“If you have 20 weeks, and it’s for the primary carer, let’s encourage dads if they want to take up more than the two weeks they are currently allowed to, we should,” Government Services Minister Bill Shorten told Nine news.
So far, only 12% of workers who took up primary care parental leave were men, and half the employers in traditional male-dominated industries did not offer such leave, according to a report by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.