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Labor boosts access to paid parental leave

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Parents hoping to qualify for the Commonwealth’s extended parental pay scheme will be able to be assessed on their combined income.

The Albanese government has released details about its “family-friendly” budget, which includes its plan to extend the paid parental leave scheme from 20 to 26 weeks.

Parents hoping to access Commonwealth paid parental leave have previously been assessed on their individual incomes.

Starting from July next year, parents will be assessed on a dual income basis, with $350,000 the combined cut off.

At the last election, the previous Coalition government also promised to change the income thresholds.

Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor said the income threshold changes would boost workforce participation of women who are the primary breadwinners.

“That’s extremely good news,” he told ABC News.

Under the Albanese government’s new scheme, parents will be able to take their leave at the same time and the rules will be tweaked to make it easier for parents whose partners’ don’t meet residency requirements to access the scheme.

The changes are expected to benefit more than 180,000 families nationally.

The government will also invest $12.4 million into playgroups and toy libraries as part of its budget support for families.

Labor has also promised to boost Commonwealth childcare subsidies for most families.

“So central to a family friendly budget, is the biggest new investment, which is childcare, but also making sure that we get paid parental leave right so that families can better manage their work and family responsibilities,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers told Sky News on Sunday.

– AAP



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