Upcoming events

Senator Katy Gallagher entertained 100 of us at dinner at the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday 17 November. Events are planned for 2016 in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra
– Watch this space!

Marie Coleman talks about Women’s retirement income in the Drum

If the Turnbull Government is serious about bolstering women’s retirement incomes and supporting their economy security, it should start by reversing its decision to scrap the Low Income Superannuation Contribution, writes Marie Coleman. Read more – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-29/coleman-women-retirement-income/6894870

Family Tax Benefit

Proposed Family Tax Benefit saving robbing Pauline to Pay Peta.

While less appalling than the Government’s original proposals, the revised Family Tax Benefit (FBT) reforms are unlikely to have a significant effect on workforce participation, particularly in those states and territories with high unemployment, claim a range of workforce experts including the National Foundation of Australian Women (NFAW), Equality Rights Alliance (ERA), economic Security for Women (eS4W) and the Work and Family Policy Roundtable (W&FPR).

Read the Media Release here – NFAW release – FTB 2015 FINAL

Click on the link below to read the article in The Drum 23.10.2015


Tax and transfer group welcome

NFAW welcomes the Government’s review of work disincentives in our tax and transfer systems

Read more:

Oct 2015 tax and transfer working group Morrison

Oct 2015 NFAW release – Barriers to work 2015 (002)

NFAW supports WEL’s campaign for long term funding for Women’s refuges

This is a bid for $2b over 5 years for C/S funding — details –

WEL proposal ATT A Women’s Refuges and Housing Bill 2015 draft 17 Sept 2015

WEL Proposal -Women’s Refuges and Housing Program Sept 2015

The goal is to get agreement to the proposal at the Council of Australian Govts (COAG)meeting to be held at the end of November.

We need to show the extent of community support for the proposal. We encourage people to sign on to a petition on the WEL website www.wel.org.au

Upcoming event – Canberra – Tuesday 17 November 2015

‘From Chief Minister to Senator’

National Press Club of Australia, 16 National Circuit, Barton

Tuesday 17 November 2015 Canapes at 6.30 pm and Dinner at 7.00 pm $75.00 per person

Book here: http://www.npc.org.au/membership/membersevents/nfawomen-annualdinner.html

RSVP by Friday 13 November 2015

Download invitation here – Canberra function 17 Nov 2015

Melbourne event held 28 July 2015

More than 50 of us listened to the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, discuss the Government’s agenda for women and field questions on issues including domestic violence, equal pay, tax and its relationship to child care and measurable targets for women’s representation in Parliament

Perth event held 16 June 2015

More than 40 people attended our inaugural WA event. Katie Day from Fortescue Metals Group spoke about her personal journey to become a FIFO woman in mining operations.

Paid Parental Leave

In the 2015 Budget, the Abbott Government announced that it intends to restrict access to the government’s Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme from 1 July 2016. Mothers with an employer/workplace entitlement to paid parental leave will be no longer be guaranteed access to the 18 week PPL scheme. Nearly 50 per cent of all mothers will lose some or all of their government paid parental leave. Some families may be worse off by over $11,000.Write to your senators asking them to reject the Government proposal – see the much better proposal under the next item in this Blog.

If you are planning to have a baby, enter in your gross salary and the number of paid weeks leave your employer gives you to find out how you will be affected https://web.cpsu.org.au/ppl/ppl.aspx

Paid Parental Leave: Six Month Top Up proposal


The Australian Government has proposed changes to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme that will undermine Australian families’ ability to stay at home with their babies for the first six months of their lives.

The Australian Government’s current Paid Parental Leave Scheme provides two Australian-Government funded payments to eligible working families

Parental Leave Pay (PLP), 18 weeks at the National Minimum Wage (NMW) ($11,826 at 1 July 2015), with employers able to provide additional benefits e.g. fund extra weeks of paid leave

Dad and Partner Pay (DAPP), 2 weeks at the NMW with employers able to “top up” to normal earnings

The current proposal seeks to stop working parents who are primary carers from accessing the government entitlements if their employer pay exceeds the PLP payment. But employers will still be able to “top up” the DAPP.

An alternative proposal

The current scheme is based on the principle that the minimum entitlements provided by the Government would be complemented by employer schemes which lengthened the period of paid parental leave to achieve the optimal leave period recommended by the World Health Organisation of 26 weeks.

The current scheme has successfully met this objective, with the Paid Parental Leave Evaluation showing that the current “PLP had a clear effect of delaying mothers’ return to work up to about six months after the birth of their baby.” (Paid Parental Leave: Evaluation Report, p4)

The evaluation has also shown that the DAPP scheme has contributed to culture change among employees and employers, with “some fathers more willing to be assertive about taking leave following a birth, and some employers more inclined to see such leave as legitimate and a normal aspect of the leave taken by employees.” (Evaluation Report, p 13).

We do not want to risk the gains made by the PLP and DAPP Schemes and propose the following measures to strengthen the program:

26 weeks paid at the NMW as the, Australian Government Parental Leave Payment – to enable the primary care giver to access $17,079 in payments during the first six months of their child’s life

4 weeks paid at the NMW as the Australian Government Dad and Partner Payment DAPP – to accelerate the culture change around the role of fathers in raising children

Extension of the DAPP “top up” provisions to PLP – to enable both parents, not just Dads, to maintain workforce attachment with their employer during their parental leave

Superannuation for both payments – to contribute to retirement income, particularly among women

No restrictions on bargaining rights or employer voluntary additions adding to these payments – to enable employers to position themselves as Employers of Choice and attract and retain workers

This proposal was prepared in collaboration with YWCA Australia and the National Foundation of Australian Women.

Scenario 1: Bank Employee

Nora is pregnant and works full time as a customer service consultant at a bank, where she earns $50,000 ($962 a week).
Her employer has an 8 weeks paid parental leave scheme ($7,692 for the 8 weeks).
Her partner, Charlie, works at a child care centre. He earns $39,000 a year and does not have an employer scheme that pays for partner leave.

Current PPL situation

Nora is able to access the Government Parental Leave Payment of $11,539 (former NMW rate pre, July 2015 adjustment) over 18 weeks and her employer funded parental leave of $7,692 (8 weeks). This means Nora would be able to access 26 weeks leave, with an income of $19,231. This is 76% of her regular wages for that period ($25,000).
Charlie is able to claim 2 weeks of government partner leave at minimum wage for $1282 (former NMW rate pre, July 2015 adjustment) during that period.

Abbott Government Proposal

Under the new proposal, Nora would no longer be able to receive both the PLP and her employer’s payment. Instead, she would have access to 18 weeks of minimum wage – made up of her employer funded leave of ($7,692) and a $4134 top-up. This would bring the total amount of paid parental leave that she receives during the 18 week period to NMW $11,826 (calculated at adjusted NMW rage from 1 July 2015). This means that her parental leave drops to 66% of her regular earnings.
If Nora was to stretch out her total paid parental leave entitlements to the recommended 26 weeks, her weekly payment would be $444, which is 46% of her regular earnings.
Charlie would also be entitled to claim 2 weeks of government partner leave at minimum wage for $1314 during that period.

Alternative proposal

Under the preferred paid parental leave proposal, Nora would be entitled to 26 weeks of minimum wage, government funded paid parental leave. This would total $17,079 for the 26 week period.

Her employer would be able to provide a top-up to Nora, at a cost of $7918, so that the family suffered no wage penalty during the six-month parental leave period.
Charlie would be entitled to 4 weeks minimum wage, government funded Dad and Partner Pay of $2628 over the 4 week period. His employer would also be supported by legislation to top-up to a wage-replacement level.
Both these government payments would include superannuation contributing to the families’ retirement income.