Thursday, 17 June 2010
Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010; Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010
Semantics keeps a plethora of people outside this place very well occupied. They are called the IR club, and very well cushioned indeed they are. They will be hanging off the words of these amendments. But my concern more so is that employers who have concerns about this amendment may be misleadingly reassured by the heading of the amendment and the popular vernacular with which it will subsequently be described for the purposes of brevity and, potentially, a media grab. On the other hand, employees may well be concerned by the publication of this amendment if the heading is used.
Going to the next aspect of the same concern, can you please clarify whether this amendment allows an employer and an employee to renegotiate a workplace agreement, to which prospect you referred in your opening description of the effect of the amendment? Does this amendment mean that an employee and employer can renegotiate a workplace agreement, either a workplace agreement that exists today or one existing in the future? Can an employee and an employer renegotiate a workplace agreement so that the 18-week parenting payment payable under this bill satisfies an obligation that an employer has today under a workplace agreement to provide a worker with 18 weeks paid parental leave?