Victory on Paid Maternity Leave in Australian Newspapers

Some 500 journalists employed by about 200 newspapers across Australia will be entitled to six weeks paid maternity leave. Media unions are also seeking increases in paid parental leave in bargaining with the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a TV channel.

The deal was made between Country Press Australia Inc and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the Australian journalists' union. It introduces a six-week paid maternity leave entitlement for part- and full-time employees with three years service.

Meanwhile, the union for public sector workers (CPSU) and the MEAA are seeking a substantial increase in paid parental leave for the 750 employees at SBS. The current agreement (Opens window for sending email, which expires in late November, provides 12 weeks paid maternity leave and one week's leave for spouses/partners.

The unions are pushing for a new entitlement to 14 weeks paid maternity leave and a further 14 weeks paid parental leave for the primary caregiver.