Racing NSW to pay jockeys’ parental leave

The Australian Jockeys’ Association has welcomed the Racing NSW initiative to introduce paid parental leave for female jockeys as it continues to push for changes to legislation.

Female jockeys are not allowed to ride after their first trimester making them ineligible for the federal government’s parental leave scheme which requires women to have worked at least 10 of the preceding 13 months before giving birth.

With any changes to legislation now unable to be made before next year, Racing NSW announced on Tuesday jockeys would receive eight weeks pay based on their average weekly earnings.

The AJA has lobbied several federal governments over the past decade and chief executive Paul Innes says it will keep fighting.

“We were hoping to get this through the senate before Christmas but that won’t happen now,” Innes said.

“I’ve been to Canberra before but it’s not high on the priority list.”

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said the administrative body would foot the bill for paid parental leave until the legislation was changed with the amount capped at how much jockeys would would have received in total from the government’s scheme..

“This loophole in the legislation is grossly unfair to female jockeys,” V’landys said.

“Accordingly, we will pay them until the legislation is rectified.

“The Racing NSW scheme will continue as long as it is required,”

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