Thursday, 17 June 2010
Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010; Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010
I move government amendment (7) on sheet AF249:
(7) Page 236 (after line 20), after clause 307, insert:
307A Review of the operation of this Act
(1) The Minister must cause a comprehensive review of the general operation of this Act to be begun by 31 January 2013.
(2) The review must consider the following matters:
(a) the amount of time off work that primary carers are taking to care for newborn or newly adopted children;
(b) the availability and amount of leave and payments provided by employers in relation to the birth or adoption of a child, and the interaction of those entitlements with parental leave pay provided under this Act;
(c) the operation of the work test;
(d) whether primary claimants’ partners should be paid parental leave pay separately from, or in addition to, primary claimants;
(e) whether employers should make superannuation contributions in relation to parental leave pay;
(f) the results of any evaluations conducted in relation to the operation of this Act;
(g) the administration of this Act;
(h) any other matter relevant to the general operation of this Act.
(3) The Minister must ensure that public submissions are sought in relation to the review.
(4) The Minister must cause a copy of a written report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of the day on which the Minister receives the report.
The government are making this amendment in order to give legislative effect to our firm commitment to have a comprehensive review of the PPL scheme. The amendment makes clear that the review will commence by 31 January 2013, two years after the scheme commences. The review will be wide-ranging and cover all issues relevant to the operation of the act, including its administration. We also specify particular issues that must be considered in the review: the amount of time off work that primary carers are taking to care for newborn or newly adopted children; the availability and amount of leave and payments provided by employers and the interaction of those entitlements with parental leave pay; the operation of the work test; whether the primary claimant’s partner should be paid parental leave pay separately from or in addition to the primary claimant; and whether employers should make superannuation contributions in relation to parental leave pay, an issue we debated yesterday.
The views of stakeholders and the public will also be sought during the review and the result of any evaluations will be incorporated. We think this is a sensible amendment which allows for proper consideration of the legislation’s impact after an appropriate length of time. It is a device we use in many other bills and we think it is a sensible legislative procedure. I urge the Senate to support the amendment.