Media Releases → 2024

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Paying super on Government Paid Parental Leave to enhance economic security and gender equality

SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Senator for the ACT

THE HON AMANDA RISHWORTH MP
Minister for Social Services

THE HON JIM CHALMERS MP
Treasurer

Date: Thursday, 7 March 2024

The Albanese Labor Government will continue its historic reform of Paid Parental Leave (PPL) and will pay superannuation on the Government payment from 1 July 2025.

The announcement will be made alongside the release of Working for Women – Australia’s first national strategy to achieve gender equality.

Paying superannuation on PPL was also a key recommendation of the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and has long been campaigned for by unions and the women’s movement. 

This reform is an investment in women’s economic security and in the broader economy. It builds on the Government’s work to modernise PPL and expand the payment to a full six months by 2026.

Taking time out of paid work to care for children is a normal part of working life for both parents. Paying super on Government PPL will help normalise parental leave as a workplace entitlement, like annual and sick leave, and reduce the impact of parental leave on retirement incomes.

Labor’s expansion to Australia’s Paid Parental Leave is currently before the Senate, which will give families an additional six weeks of PPL. If passed, from 1 July this year, families will have access to an extra two weeks of leave (22 weeks total), which will increase to 24 weeks from July 2025 and 26 weeks from July 2026.

This builds on our changes that commenced in July last year to give more families access to the payment, including through a more generous $350,000 family income test, and made it much easier for both parents to share care.

Alongside Labor’s Tax Cuts and key investments in cheaper childcare, women’s safety, women’s health, Parenting Payment Single and workplace relations reform, the Albanese Government continues to focus on women’s economic security as a key feature of our economic plan. 

Further detail of this important measure to pay superannuation on PPL, including cost, will be released in the Budget.

Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, said the Albanese Labor Government is serious about making sure women are supported when balancing caring and working responsibilities.

“The data is clear - that when women take time out of the workforce to raise children it impacts their retirement incomes with women retiring, on average, with about 25 per cent less super than men.

"Paying super on Government parental leave is an important investment to help close the super gap and make decisions about balancing care and work easier for women,” Minister Gallagher said.

Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, said paying superannuation on Paid Parental Leave is another key step to prioritise gender equality, better value care work and improve women’s workforce participation.

“It helps normalise taking time off work for caring responsibilities and reinforces Paid Parental Leave is not a welfare payment – it is a workplace entitlement just like annual and sick leave.

“Paying super on Paid Parental Leave will build on the significant reforms we have and are making. We’ve made it more accessible, flexible and gender neutral and we are expanding the scheme to a full six months.

“These reforms cement Paid Parental Leave as a Labor legacy, with the scheme sitting largely untouched under the Coalition for nearly a decade. It was Labor that first introduced Paid Parental Leave in 2011 and it is Labor that invests in and makes the scheme better for Australian parents.”

The Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, said greater economic inclusion for women is at the centre of the Albanese Government’s agenda.

“Paying super on Paid Parental Leave is part of our efforts to ensure women earn more, keep more of what they earn, and retire with more as well.

“In the long-term, this important change means a more dignified and secure retirement for more Australian women.

"We've made clear for some time that this is a priority and now we make it a reality.

“A stronger paid parental leave system is good for families and good for the economy as well."

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s)

GALLAGHER – Lisa Glenday 0403 931 209 | Gallagher.Media@finance.gov.au

RISHWORTH: Lanai Scarr 0499 530 673 | lanai.scarr@dss.gov.au

CHALMERS – Fergus Maguire 0487 258 680 | fergus.maguire@treasury.gov.au