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Why ‘maternity leave’ is no longer an acceptable term in one state

Maternity leave will be known as “birth-related leave” under gender-neutral changes to Queensland’s industrial relations laws.

The new language is one of a raft of changes to the industrial relations act in response to an independent five-year review of the state’s workplace legislation.

Changes to the act were put forward by Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace on Thursday, with the removal of gendered language from parental leave legislation included in the new Bill.

Why ‘maternity leave’ is no longer an acceptable term in one state
Camera IconMaternity leave will now be called ‘birth-related leave’ in a bid stamp out gender inequality. Credit: Supplied

The term “birth-related leave” has been introduced to “remove language implying gendered divisions of parental leave”, a clause in the Bill said.

Another clause outlined in the amendment included replacing the word “she” with “employee”.

Strengthening protection of workers subject to sexual harassment, improving entitlements on adoption leave and gender pay equity changes were also included among 31 amendments to the act.

QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT
Camera IconIndustrial Relations Minister Grace Grace put the changes forward on Thursday. NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

The Bill also legislates leave for parents whose children were stillborn.

Ms Grace said the changes came as part of the government’s push to prevent gender inequality.

“(We are) committed to doing all we can to prevent sexual harassment and gender inequity,” she said.

The review into Queensland’s workplace laws made 40 recommendations, with 36 accepted in full by the government.

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