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20 November 2018

Flexible paid parental leave a win for small businesses

“Australia’s small business owners will appreciate the flexibility of the new-look paid parental leave scheme announced today by the government,” the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said today.

“Mum and dad business owners often don’t get to use their whole paid parental leave entitlement because they have to be back at work soon after the baby is born; sometimes as soon as a couple of weeks.

“To expect a self-employed parent to exit their small business for an 18 week block is unrealistic and unworkable.

“Today, 34% of all Australian business operators are women and they need to be able to organise their business in a way that works for them after having a baby.

“While you have to take the first 12 weeks as a block in the first year, the flexible use of the remaining six weeks will go a long way to ensure their small business can maintain momentum. It will allow part time work arrangements or small blocks to be taken at a time that suits the new parent.

“Ideally, we would like the government to consider allowing small business owners flexibility around the use of the first 12 weeks as well.

“This new policy is more family friendly and small business friendly, and gives parents the ability to make choices on how they manage these two very crucial years.”