Parental scheme rolls out

THE health of mothers and babies must be put ahead of snaring the Federal Government’s parental paid-leave scheme, Families Minister Jenny Macklin says.

Australia’s first national paid parental-leave scheme will be- come available from January 1 at a cost to taxpayers of $1.5 billion.

About 148,000 parents will be eligible to receive an 18-week taxable payment at the minimum wage of $570 in the first year.

Ms Macklin said she had been in contact with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to advise members that the baby bonus would remain available to most parents before the new scheme took effect.

She said the college had not received any requests from mothers to delay elective caesarean procedures to meet the January 1 scheme introduction.

Primary carers who earn up to $150,000 and have worked 330 hours for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the birth or adoption of their child are eligible to apply for the payment.



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