Every body affected by historic new reproductive health leave

Queensland Unions has hailed today’s announcement by the Miles Labor Government of 10 days’ paid leave and flexibility entitlements for workers experiencing reproductive health issues as a massive win for working people in Queensland.

Queensland Unions General Secretary Jacqueline King said access to reproductive health leave is a significant cultural shift for Queensland and a no brainer to attract and retain the best nurses, teachers, police and other public sector workers across this state as an employer of choice.

“Most of us have experienced, or will experience at some stage in our working lives, issues related to our reproductive health,” Ms King said.

“Having access to leave and flexibility in work arrangements can make all the difference to help manage sometimes extremely personal issues in a work environment”.

Over the last six months, Queensland Unions has advanced a member led It’s for Every Body campaign, shining a spotlight on the reproductive health experiences of working women and men and calling on the State Government to address access to reproductive leave entitlements.

“The It’s for Every Body campaign gained momentum quickly, because its message – that every single person can at some stage be impacted by reproductive health issues – resonates with so many working people, regardless of gender,” Ms King said.

“This reform recognises that every worker can, at various times throughout their working life, be affected by chronic pain and conditions like endometriosis or menopause, experience fertility issues, or need to undertake screening and procedures related to breast or prostate cancers.

“In doing so, we move forward as a community towards a healthier, more understanding model of managing working people’s health and real life experiences.

“While many workers may not need to avail themselves of this new entitlement, we also know from so many conversations that so many people have had to attend work in extreme pain, or make up excuses about not attending work, because they are accessing fertility or other treatments that weren’t previously open for conversation or leave,” she said.

Ms King said this historical commitment to legislate 10 days’ paid reproductive leave is another indicator of a Miles Labor Government standing with all working people and their families.

Queensland Unions will now continue its campaign to roll out 10 days paid reproductive leave and access to flexible work arrangements for all Queensland workers through legislation and bargaining, and to gain a commitment to a minimum legislated entitlement for all Australian workers through the Fair Work Act.

Implementation of 10 days per annum (non cumulative) reproductive health leave in Queensland includes:

  • The introduction of a 10 days per annum (non-cumulative) paid ‘reproductive health leave’ entitlement for public sector employees, no later than 30 September 2024, to use for each parent to receive fertility/IVF treatment; chronic reproductive health conditions (such as endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, adenomyosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and menopause symptoms) that require absence from the workplace;
  • Preventative screening associated with reproductive health, including breast and prostate screening (capped at 4 hours per year); and
  • Treatment associated with reproductive health including hysterectomy and vasectomy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *