Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010; Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010
I thank Senator Fifield and Senator Fielding for their contributions. Unfortunately the government does not support removing employer involvement in the Paid Parental Leave scheme. We want to ensure that women maintain a strong connection with the workforce by receiving their government funded parental leave pay through their employer, as they would receive any other work entitlement. Only nine per cent of all businesses will be involved in Paid Parental Leave in any given year and only three per cent of small businesses. To help employers prepare for the scheme, the role of employers in providing government funded parental leave pay will be phased in over the first six months to align with the new financial year. Parental leave pay will be paid in accordance with an employer’s normal pay practices and the employees’ usual pay cycle. The design of the government scheme as recommended by the Productivity Commission sends a strong message that taking leave from work around the time of a birth is a normal part of work and family life.