How pregnant women beg for money in Australia
Pregnant people who don’t want to be kept in the maternity unit face discrimination in Australia, with many choosing to remain at home to nurse or look after their babies.
“We have heard that a number of people have decided to stay at home with their babies and to do other things,” said Alison Denton, a spokeswoman for the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“This has led to a very high rate of antenatal discrimination, particularly in the first few months of pregnancy.”
A 2010 survey of 500 women found that a quarter of them did not have access to paid work, and another one in 10 said they could not afford childcare.
The study, which followed up with more than 2,000 women in Victoria in 2014, found that antenatal services provided to pregnant women are often not appropriate for them, with a median cost of about $50,000, compared with $50 for an employee of the same age.
The ABC contacted several Australian states and territories for information about their maternity leave policies.
In Queensland, maternity leave is available at the beginning of the month, with all employees receiving 12 weeks of leave with pay and paid sick leave.
In Victoria, it is compulsory to take a leave of absence of six weeks or more to take care of your newborn, but no-one gets paid for that.
Women are also paid for any childcare or other unpaid work they do while pregnant.
In the Northern Territory, the state government provides a parental leave scheme for mothers and their partners.
The scheme allows mothers and partners to claim up to one week of unpaid leave, which is paid out on the first day of the week after the birth.
In South Australia, mothers can receive one week unpaid leave for every month they have a child.
But some states have different laws, and some do not provide maternity leave at all.
The Australian Bureau for Statistics says there are more than 600,000 pregnant women and their newborns in Australia.
“The majority of these women have not had their children, and they’re still very much the primary caregivers of their newborn children, so their care and support is still essential,” Denton said.
“There are some families that don’t have a baby, or they don’t know where they can go to look after it, and so that’s where maternity leave can really help.”
While there is some discrimination, the Australian Government and the state governments provide support to pregnant workers, and support programs to help them find work and to keep them in employment.
“It is certainly a challenging environment, and we’ve seen that there’s a lot of people who have a very difficult time getting a job, and that is reflected in the numbers that we’ve found,” Dutton said.
In Australia, about one-third of people are either unemployed or working part-time.
And while there are some benefits to working, such as a lower risk of losing a job during pregnancy, these benefits are only available to women who are aged 18 or older, have a high school diploma or GED and can prove that they can afford childcare and are able to work.
“One of the reasons why we’re seeing such a high level of unemployment is that there are many more people working part time, and women of childbearing age are still disproportionately affected by this,” Dickson said.