You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

PM coy on parental leave compromise

AAP logoAAP 19/11/2016 Lisa Martin and Jennifer Rajca

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull won't confirm whether his government has reached a compromise deal on paid parental leave with Senate cross-benchers.

The government has a bill before parliament aimed at preventing new mums from double dipping from both the government's scheme and separate employer arrangements.

Some crossbenchers have been concerned about retrospectivity and the fairness of the changes.

In an attempt win their support the government is proposing to increase paid parental leave for new mothers from 18 weeks to 20 weeks - a $1300 boost for the average mother, News Corp Australia reports.

The deal could still save taxpayers between $600-$750 million because some public servants would be excluded from the public scheme and there would a 20-week cap on parental leave for the government and workplace schemes.

But Mr Turnbull, who is at the APEC leaders summit in Peru, would not speculate on the matter.

"There's always negotiations with the Senate and the minister (Christian Porter) is handling those negotiations and we'll find out on the floor of the Senate how successful they are," he told reporters in Lima.

"I don't want to run a commentary on them any more than he would."

In 2011, Labor introduced the 18 week public scheme at the minimum wage as a safety net while allowing employers to top up parental entitlements so mums could spend more time bonding with their bulbs.

Former treasurer Joe Hockey caused a stir in 2015 when he accused women of "double dipping" by claiming both the public scheme and employer-provided leave.

Opposition families spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said even under the so-called compromise around 70,000 mums with a median income of $62,000 would be on average $5,600 worse off.

While 4,000 new mums will lose access to the government scheme completely and be more than $12,000 worse off.

"Pregnant mums need certainty when planning for the birth of their baby, the last thing they need is confusion about how much paid parental leave they are entitled to," she said on Sunday.

Ms Macklin said the government's bill before parliament has a start date of January 2017.

"That's only 40 days away. What exactly is the Turnbull Government's policy on paid parental leave?"

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon