Monday, September 29, 2008

Productivity Commission response to paid parental leave

The Commission proposes the introduction of a taxpayer funded paid parental leave scheme that would:
- provide paid postnatal leave for a total of 18 weeks that can be shared by eligible parents, with an additional 2 weeks of paternity leave reserved for the father (or same sex partner).
- Provide the adult minimum wage (currently $543.78) for each week of leave for most eligible employees.

All employees with a reasonable degree of attachment to the labour force (average of 10 hours per week or more and continuous employment for 12 months prior to date of expected birth) would be eligible, including the self employed, contractors and casual employees.

Non eligible parents would be entitled to the equivalent of the baby bonus.

This is a huge step in the right direction. It will take Australia years to catch up with other OECD nations, but this is a welcome start.

The Federal Government will need to properly review the Productivity Commission's findings on businesses paying superannuation and funding paid parental leave upfront before being reimbursed. There are potental concerns that this may create further discrimination in terms of hiring women in general and hiring mothers who may decide to have more children.

For more information, go to:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Group Interviews

Recently, one of our users asked me about how to approach a group interview. She was looking to re-enter the workplace and was very nervous, so needed a few tips and hints. I gave her some tips, and without knowing the outcome of the interview yet, she was really pleased with her interview performance and felt very confident.

This is what it is all about - developing the confidence again to handle interviews regardless of the outcome. An interview is about 2 things: how well suited your are to the role based on your experience, and whether you as a person would be suited to the culture of the organisation. You are who you are, and sometimes your personality may not suit the role you are going for.

These are the tips I provided:
- Ask for information on the group interview before it happens. What is the structure of it? What will you be required to talk about?
- Just be prepared. Stick to how your skills will benefit the job you are going for.
- If you can back up your skills with previous experience, be ready to do so – both paid and non-paid work!
- Do not talk about your family circumstances. It is no one’s business but yours.
- Gauge the interviewer. Get a sense of what he/she is like. Do they prefer short answers or do they want you to elaborate? React to this as the job interview is just as much about finding the right style of person who will fit the organisation as well as tapping into your core skills set.
- Make sure you look good! If you feel good, you will radiate confidence. Ensure your outfit is chosen at least 24 hours before!
- In a group situation, it can sometimes be intimidating for some people. You will need to speak up and promote yourself when the time is appropriate. Remember: if you don’t, no one else will!
- Shake off being nervous – it is another experience and if you don’t succeed, review what you need to do next time and move on to the next challenge.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Should you work as a permanent part time employee or a casual employee?

Every week, CareerMums receives questions from our users on a range of topics including career advice, career options, employment law, resumes and more! Below is a question we received recently, with our response:

Question: I'll be returning to work shortly after a period of time on maternity leave. I'll be joining a new employer and have been offered the choice of accepting either a part-time or casual employee. I'd like to know if you can provide me with advice on how to accurately calculate the financial comparision between both options, hence aiding in my decision on which to accept.

Answer: It is hard for me to assist without knowing all the information. Ask the HR department to do the calculations, and get them to specify your entitlements as they will differ e.g. treatment of leave days. In addition, please refer to the following web page for more information that may help: