Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

6 January 2021

Jane Howlett, Minister for Racing

New maternity support for female jockeys and drivers

The Tasmanian Government is a strong supporter of Tasmania’s racing industry and its participants, and today I am excited to announce a new Maternity Assistance Program for female jockeys and harness racing drivers in the state.

For health reasons, a female jockey or driver is currently prohibited from riding or driving during pregnancy after the first trimester of their pregnancy under National racing rules.

Tasracing’s Maternity Assistance Program (MAP) will bridge the gap from when a jockey or driver ceases riding or driving at the end of their first trimester until they are eligible for the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme at the birth of the child.

The MAP will be paid from the start of the 2nd trimester until the birth of the child, and will be paid at a rate that is equivalent to the jockey or driver’s average weekly wage, capped at the Government’s rate for paid parental leave.

This new measure recognises the increasing number of females in Tasmania’s jockey and driver ranks. There are currently 12 female jockeys in Tasmania and 12 female harness racing drivers. More than half of the female jockeys and drivers are aged 25 or under, demonstrating the exciting rise of females in both codes.

To be eligible for the MAP a jockey or driver:

  • Must be a full-time licenced jockey or A or B harness driver in Tasmania
  • Must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia, residing in Tasmania
  • Must have stopped riding due to pregnancy
  • Must not hold any other license with the Office of Racing Integrity in the same or another code
  • In the 13 months before falling pregnant, the jockey or driver must have permanently resided in Tasmania, and worked as a jockey or driver in Tasmania for at least a 10 month period with no more than an 8 week gap between 2 consecutive work days (excluding any time lost due to injury).

I am delighted by today’s announcement and I’m confident it will be warmly welcomed across Tasmania’s racing industry.

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