Unions push for reproductive leave
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Unions will take push for 10 day paid reproductive leave to annual congress

Unions will take push for 10 day paid reproductive leave to annual congress

by Freya Lucas

June 12, 2024

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) will be calling on the government to add 10 days of paid reproductive leave for all workers per year at its annual congress which will be held in Adelaide this week.


The leave would allow workers to take time off work for IVF treatment, or for issues relating to menopause or post-vasectomy recovery.


The call comes on the back of an announcement by the Queensland government last month, outlining the introduction of reproductive leave for all public servants. 


Union bargaining has also led to some workers in specific sectors and industries, such as healthcare, finance, education and the community sector, gaining access to reproductive leave.


“Reproductive health can impact all workers and will affect most workers at some stage in their life,” ACTU president Michele O’Neil said.


“Too many workers have been penalised or forced to bow out of employment because of reproductive health issues.”


The Union believes such leave would also be beneficial for women in supporting them to address issues arising from health conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as navigating the sensitive return to work period post childbirth. 


Men could use the leave for fertility treatment, prostate screening, as well as paid time to undertake and recover from a vasectomy.


Despite the calls, there are no indications that the policy will be implemented by the Government, with a spokesperson for Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke telling 9 News that “ACTU policy and ALP policy have always been different.” 


“The major changes we intend to make are already law and making a difference with more secure jobs and better pay,” the spokesperson said.

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