Sport Racing Female jockeys missing out on paid parental leave

Female jockeys missing out on paid parental leave

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There are calls to ease restrictions that prevent female jockeys from using the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave Scheme.

The scheme requires women to work at least 10 of the previous 13 months before they access the scheme.

Australian Jockeys Association chief executive Paul Innes says female jockeys are being left in the cold because of a restriction on riding after their first trimester.

“This precludes, effectively, our members from obtaining that benefit that so many other thousands of women in the community have been able to obtain since the introduction of that legislation,” he said.

Victorian jockey Casey Bruce said she was encouraged by the improvements in conditions for female jockeys in recent times, but says more needed to be done to safeguard their future.

“It’s really important that these measures are put in place, considering that currently, 48 per cent of apprentices are women,” Bruce said.

“It’s really difficult for women who have just retired due to injury or otherwise, so to have a means of support post-career would be really beneficial.”

Mr Innes says it is one of a number of challenges faced by female jockeys.

“One in four jockeys in the country are now female. It’s a significant increase,” he said.

“I think the industry has largely been caught napping as far as the sort of facilities and conditions that might apply to women riders across the country, particularly at some of the country and provincial race clubs.”