Will NXT really protect our PPL? – The Parenthood Campaign Update

There have been over 12,000 people join our campaign to save paid parental leave with over 4,600 individual emails sent to each member of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) urging them to stand up and protect our PPL.


Yesterday we learnt that the Xenophon Team intended to keep the pre-election commitment they had made with Fair Agenda that, if elected, they promise to ‘vote to protect the current paid parental leave system and oppose any diminution of the current system’.

However, we also learnt that whilst they “won’t support the legislation as currently proposed” they do intend to negotiate with the government to amend the legislation to achieve a “fairer” and “more equitable” scheme.

NXT may suggest that a woman’s access to the government PPL be means tested based on her household income (so taking into account what her partner earns) rather than based on her individual income (as is currently the case capped at $150,000).

Means testing on household income would completely alter the concept of paid parental leave – no longer would it be a work related payment but a social welfare payment.

But we’ll have to wait until the end of the week to find out what a fairer more equitable paid parental leave scheme would look like for the Xenophon team.

Given Australia currently has the least generous PPL scheme in the world any move to improve our PPL is definitely a step in the right direction – but we have to be careful that any proposed changes do not then undermine PPL and what it was designed to do.

So I’ve amended the email you can send to the NXT team to help remind them of the following as they negotiate on PPL with the gov’t –

  • Paid parental leave is not social welfare – it is a work related payment that recognises a parent (who in most cases is mum) HAS to take a period of time away from work to have, care and bond with a newborn baby and so shouldn’t be financially disadvantaged for doing so
  • The financial support the government’s PPL provides women not only helps them to afford the time they need to be with their baby, it also keeps them connected to their workplace, assisting with their eventual return to work (hence it’s a productivity measure not a welfare measure)
  • Any amendment to the government’s PPL scheme that would limit or reduce access for any woman who is currently entitled to receive PPL, would be seen as a broken election promise given their assurance that they will ‘vote to protect the current paid parental leave system’.

Our fight to save our PPL is still a way from being over, despite promising comments from the Xenophon Team. So we need to keep the pressure up on NXT urging them to protect the PPL 80,000 parents currently have access to and depend on.


Mr Turnbull is counting on the three NXT Senator’s to make cruel and unfair cuts to our current PPL scheme in the name of budget repair and “fairness”.

But there is nothing fair about taking paid leave entitlements away from hard working Aussie mums – no matter who their employer is or what their partner might earn.

Let’s keep up the great work!

– Jo at The Parenthood
The Parenthood · 22 Petrie Tce, Petrie Terrace, Queensland 4000, Australia

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