Govt public service boost as unions march on Labour Day

The Queensland premier has marched alongside thousands of union members after making an Australian-first health leave announcement for public service workers.

Steven Miles unveiled the new entitlements along with superannuation contribution changes before leading the Labour Day parade through Brisbane's CBD on Monday.

The premier says public servants in the Sunshine State will be entitled to 10 days reproductive health leave per year in the Australian-first initiative.

Superannuation payment changes will also be made to help bridge the gap between what male and female state government workers retire with.

The new leave entitlements will include days off for fertility treatments, chronic reproductive health conditions like endometriosis and preventative screening for breast and prostate cancers.

Workers will also be granted leave for reproductive health treatments such as hysterectomies and vasectomies.

"This leave will be available to them so that they don't exhaust their other personal leave," Mr Miles told reporters.

The scheme will be in place by the end of September.

photograph of a baby
Steven Miles says Queensland is leading the nation with paid leave for reproductive healthcare. (April Fonti/AAP PHOTOS)

The move has been supported by opposition Liberal National Party leader David Crisafulli and welcomed by unions.

"Anything that can allow public servants to feel respected and valued is something that gets my approval," Mr Crisafulli said.

Union representatives will take the policy to the ACTU national conference in June with a request to the federal government that it become a nation-wide commitment.

"This is for every worker, women and men, who experience reproductive health issues across their working lifetime," Queensland Unions General Secretary Jacqueline King said.

"Having access to leave and flexibility in work arrangements can make all the difference to help manage sometimes extremely personal issues in a work environment."

The government also announced superannuation payment changes, funding unpaid maternity or paternity leave for public employees for the duration of the 52-weeks parental leave from July.

Parents with babies at a cafe
The superannuation changes will help bridge the gap between the retirement balance of men and women. (Robert McGrath/AAP PHOTOS)

Superannuation is currently only paid to public service workers on paid parental leave.

Data from 2020-2021 found that the average superannuation balance gap between men and women in Queensland was 19.8 per cent, with only 13.9 per cent of Queensland women relying on their superannuation as their main source of retirement income.

The premier said the equality initiative will help bridge the gap between the retirement fund balance of men and women.

Ashleigh Sullivan from the Queensland Midwives and Nurses Union said their women-dominated workforce welcomed the announcements.

"The women of my generation have exhaled today knowing that we will not face the same realities that some of our colleagues are facing," she said.

Changes to superannuation and unpaid parental leave for a grade five nurse or midwife is expected to net them an extra $9900, the union said.

"This is going to make a profound difference to their superannuation meaning that women should not be retiring in poverty as they currently are," union secretary Sarah Beaman said.