Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave and the Emergence of 'Equality Bargaining' in Australia: an Analysis of Enterprise Agreements, 2003-2007
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Using current enterprise agreement data, this paper evaluates outcomes for paid maternity and paternity leave in Australia and considers the presence of 'equality bargaining' in Australia. We find that the incidence of paid maternity leave clauses in bargained agreements is higher than in previous years and is higher still than the incidence of paid paternity leave clauses, although neither is widespread. Further, we note the existence of a new bargaining norm for paid maternity leave of 14 weeks, distinct sectoral patterns in paid maternity and paternity leave clauses and the possible emergence of an equality bargaining agenda. On the eve of the introduction of a national leave paid parental leave scheme, the results presented in this paper provide a benchmark for future comparison and evaluation.