Dads to get paid leave
A BUNDABERG tradesman has welcomed the Federal Government's new Dad and Partner Pay scheme, saying it would help workers who found it difficult to take leave throughout the year.
Carpenter Clinton Luke's comments followed the announcement on Sunday - timed to coincide with Father's Day - that dads and partners would be offered a payment of $1180 and two weeks leave on the birth of their children, from January 2013.
The initiative is an extension to the government's Paid Parental Leave scheme, which started in January this year.
Mr Luke, who works for Jeff Lennox Builders, said the dad and partner leave would give workers the option to take time off without the risk of losing income.
He said workers in the construction industry found it difficult to take leave throughout the year, and workers who had leave entitlements needed to use them when the industry traditionally shut down during Christmas.
"You don't want to take time off when the work is there, because at the end of the year you will miss out," he said.
"You are pretty much taking four or five weeks off at Christmas."
Dad-of-three Mr Luke said he would have taken leave to support his wife had the scheme been available when his children were born.
He said the more men could help their partners during the early period following their baby's birth, the better.
Another in favour of the scheme is father-of-two Brenden Evans.
Mr Evans, a supermarket worker, said the scheme would allow men to become more involved in their children's lives and give them the chance to be a better role model.
"I think we need to move with the times and what the government is doing with this is great because it allows fathers to get out there and get involved with their kid's lives," he said.
Mr Evans said he was not able to take leave for the birth of his first child and it had created a lot of stress for him, which was a factor in Mr Evans eventually resigning from his job at the time.
Mr Evans said he hoped the scheme would help remove some of the pressure, and he believed couple's relationships would be improved if men were able to better support their partners.
Eligible fathers or partners must have worked about one day a week (330 hours) for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the birth or adoption of their child and must not have earned more than $150,000 in the previous financial year.