Jenny - Clean

THE Australian Jockeys’ Association is calling on the Federal Government to fix a legislative glitch that sees jockeys miss out on Paid Parental Leave because of safety restrictions on riding when pregnant. 

Access to Paid Parental Leave entitlements is one of several measures needed to address challenges for female riders who now make up 25% of jockeys, according to a new report Racing for Equality. 

Racing for Equality outlines three key recommendations that would significantly improve conditions for female jockeys. 

Australian Jockeys Association (AJA) CEO Paul Innes said it was time the industry took a positive step forward in recognising the contribution female jockeys make to the racing industry and ensure that equal opportunity is afforded to all riders, regardless of their gender. 

“It’s no secret that racing is a tough profession with the risk of injury or death every time a jockey rides,” Mr Innes said. 

“But our female riders face an extra set of challenges such as the difficulty in accessing Paid Parental Leave, substandard jockey rooms at venues and lack of support beyond the race track. 

“A quarter of jockeys – and almost half of apprentices – are female and while they are carving out a proud history of Australian female riders, they continue to face some serious hurdles to making racing a viable long-term career,” Mr Innes said. 

Victorian jockey Casey Bruce said she was encouraged by the improvements in conditions for female jockeys she has seen throughout her career but more needs 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,” Ms 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.” 


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