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Report shows ACU's prophetic role in paid maternity leave

A new report documents the impact the Australian Catholic University's maternity leave provision has had on the public debate on parental leave as well as the broader debate on family-friendly workplace policies.

Three years ago, female staff at the ACU won the right to a year's paid maternity leave in an unprecedented agreement that was hailed by unions as a pace-setter for all workers.

The new report - titled The Impact of the Australian Catholic University's Paid Maternity Leave Provision - was researched, written and compiled by staff at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

ACU vice-chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan said: "The report higlights the keen interest shown by Australian and international media which developed widespread public opinion from leaders within our society."

The authors of the report assess reactions to the provision by the media, Federal Government, universities and many individuals including business leaders and union representatives throughout Australia and internationally.

One of the main highlights contained within the report is the extent to which the announcement of the provision has been covered by the press.

"In the first three days after the announcement, the ACU initiative was front-page news eleven times. In the last four and a half months of 2001, the number of mentions was four times the number during the first seven and a half months. It is clear that there was much more media comment and debate about the issue after the ACU announcement than before," according to the authors.

New report explores impact of ACU National's paid maternity leave (Australian Catholic University 18/3/04)

Full Report: The impact of the Australian Catholic University's Paid Maternity Leave Provision
ACU National
Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales | Report
ACU rejects wider maternity agenda (CathNews 17/8/01)
Uni staff get year's paid maternity leave (CathNews 16/8/01)
Catholic Welfare says working mums' victory ignores those who choose to stay at home (CathNews 12/12/02)
Pell suggests paid maternity leave should include stay-at-home parents (CathNews 19/8/02)
Catholic schools support paid maternity leave but don't have the cash (CathNews 30/5/02)
ACU urges employers to follow its example on paid maternity leave (CathNews 6/5/02)

19 Mar 2004