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Workforce | Skills

PM committed to PPL: Assistant Education Minister

The Federal Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme will not disappear according to the Assistant Minister for Education, the Hon. Sussan Ley.

The Federal Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme will not disappear according to the Assistant Minister for Education, the Hon. Sussan Ley.

"I can tell you the Prime Minister is very committed to it," she said.

"I'm a big fan…I see it as quite separate from childcare, we have to get both right."

Speaking at a CEDA event in Sydney on women in leadership, childcare and early childhood learning, Ms Ley said it is essential children have access to safe and stimulating care settings.

"From my perspective further reform has to enable more families to access quality childcare services, when they need them," she said.

On the topic of the Productivity Commission report childcare and early childhood learning, Ms Ley said the Government has now received the final version and is assessing it.

"We're taking the time to carefully assess and consider each of the recommendations making sure we move away from band aid solutions and start shaping a sustainable, effective childcare system for the long term," she said.

Also speaking at the event, journalist and author Catherine Fox said she thinks the theory behind the PPL is right.

"I must say I think the theory of the PPL is right…unfortunately the reality is it means money is not being spent elsewhere," she said.

While  parental leave is important for workforce participation, addressing just one area won't fix the other problems, she said.

"Improving productivity will come from boosting women's employment participation over their entire careers but addressing one admittedly difficult area doesn't make the other problems go away or keep women attached for the long term," she said.

Ms Fox said according to research there are five key things that better enable mothers to access and retain their jobs without changing occupations.

"Access to part-time hours, ability to move back and forth between part-time and full-time hours, regular rosters, the ability to work from home and permanent employment contracts," she said.