Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm not dead...

I've just started selling stuff on ebay, and I have been spending a lot of time there trying to figure out wtf I am doing. Big clean outs from major nesting = tons of stuff to sell. And sell it has: 85% of the stuff I listed has sold! (I expected maybe 20%).

So we're all good here: I finally finished work 3 hours ago and now have 6 glorious months off. Hooray! Small matter of a squalling neonate to deal with, but, sheesh- how hard can it be, right? Right??

Ok- don't answer that one.

My pelvis is no longer joined reliably: the second SI joint gave way last night at work when I was trying to do a spinal. And the symphysis gave way about two weeks ago. So I no longer walk so much as wobble.

Loving every minute of it, though. Big belly and loads of kicks and rolls.

Bring on 4 weeks of sitting on the couch! WOOT!!


Blogger E, SS and the Little Man said...

I have to say you Aussies know how to do maternity leave. 6 Months! Is that paid? That's amazing. Of course the U.S. is right up there with Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland with having zero paid maternity leave, and only 12 weeks of job-protected maternity leave.

Enjoy your time away from work, your two year old, and your third trimester!

14/3/09 13:01  
Blogger jen said...

Well- maternity leave: where to start?

Currently, Australia and the US are the only OECD countries left without mandated paid maternity leave schemes. So we, too, are up there with Burkina Faso. However, individual organisations can- and do- offer maternity leave: in my case, the health service offers 14 weeks at full pay (based on your last 40 weeks' pay) or 28 weeks of half pay. I'm pretty sure the law also says you can't fire someone for being on unpaid maternity leave, or for becoming pregnant, and I'm pretty sure you also have the right to request up to a year of (unpaid) leave for maternity leave when the employer doesn't have a paid scheme.

I'm not sure what proportion of the workforce has access to paid maternity leave: a little voice is saying it's something like 25%: basically it is only large corporations or government departments that do because, as it stands, the employer foots the bill for the leave.

Actually I just Googled it: this is from a government publication:
> Who gets paid maternity leave?

At the higher end of estimates Dr Barbara Pocock estimates that 39 per cent of female employees have access to paid maternity leave of some form (about 7 weeks on average):

* 39 per cent of female employees in Australia can take an average of seven weeks’ paid maternity leave, up from 28 per cent in 1997.
* Although 77 per cent of women in the finance and insurance industries have access to paid maternity leave, only one per cent are covered in the retail sector, and 2 percent in hotels and restaurants.
* Among developed countries, only the US and Australia have not legislated for minimum paid maternity leave across the workforce. Sweden provides 15 months of parental leave at 75 per cent of salary.

Generations of conservative governments have refused to countenance government-funded maternity leave, and have left it up to the whole "the market will decide" crap (ie you would pick one job over another because you get paid maternity leave at one organisation and not the other. Because just SO many low-paid women can pick and choose their employers, obvs.). However, one of the election policies that the current (non-conservative) government was to at least look into the viability of paid maternity leave (government-funded), and so far we have had a Productivity Committee report overwhelmingly in favour of such a scheme, as it would improve retention of the labour market and increase, well, productivity.

Unfortunately the global financial f*&k -up has kind of derailed the debate for a bit, but I believe that legislation to go before parliament is not too far off. My understanding is that we are looking at I think over 20 weeks of paid matenity leave funded by goverment, probably at 'minimum wage' or an amount at least equivalent to the unemployment benefit. Which is not a king's ransom but still better than a kick in the pants, which is the current system.

So, yes, my leave is 6 months of paid (half-pay) leave, but I have the right to take up to a year off with the second six months being unpaid.
I'm already enjoying!

Oh, and an article from a conservative newspaper:,25197,24418877-601,00.html

16/3/09 21:33  

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