Friday 23 August 2013

How much is public service maternity leave costing us right now?

We now know that the public service gets very generous maternity leave arrangements. What we haven’t done though is look at the potential cost on a department by department basis. There's a big problem though - I can't find any hard numbers on how much individual departments are currently spending on maternity leave arrangements.

Consider the parental leave arrangements for state school teachers in WA - it's 14 weeks paid leave, and you are eligible after being employed after 12 months. According to this CPSU article, 18 weeks seems to be fairly common across swathes of the public sector.

One major criticism of Abbott's scheme is that it will involve paying out lots of money to high income earners. Well, let's have a look at a public sector department with a lot of high income earners and think about how much the public sector scheme is costing us right now.

Take the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

According to the last annual report, the department had:

  • 602 staff (although this number seems very rubbery)
  • 60.8% were female
  • 77.2% were under 45

In short, the PM&C seems to be chockful of breeders.

Pay bands:

  • 64 SES staff paid – $139,000 – $388,498 (although the top staff seemed to take home a lot more than this)
  • EL2 107 staff – $112,340 – $141,591
  • EL1 173 staff – $96,518 – $117,647
  • APS 4-6 – 227 staff – $59,119 – $92,456

Total employee expenses – $109.6 million

Average employee expense based on 602 staff – $182,059 per employee

So let’s recap.

We have a department full of women at peak breeding age. They are very highly paid – the average salary puts them in the top 1% of earners in this country. They are entitled to possibly the most generous maternity leave arrangements in the country as they stand today. 

And somehow the Lib’s policy is gold plated for rich people?



cav said...

FMD is right BOAB.

Maybe you should send this to Rudd and Abbott

Anonymous said...

Thanks, BOAB but would you please remove the last line in brackets?



Unknown said...

If you actually look at a bit more of the report, as at 30 June 2011 there was 907 employees plus another 118 who were inoperative/associated functions.

Also of that $109 million only $77 million was wages/salary.

Perhaps a bit more in depth analysis next time.

Ross said...

Very informative, to say the least. It's good to see some spin un-spun.

bruce said...

"If you actually look at a bit more of the report..."

Read the damn post! To hell with your 'report': more bureaucratic web-spinning. Sir Humphrey wants us to read 'more in depth'. Ha!

How do we rid ourselves of all the Kafkaesque 'Castles'?