Thursday, 11 June 2020
Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020; In Committee
The Greens amendment goes to this very issue. In fact, our amendment would fix the problem that we've been discussing. As has been articulated, if you lost your job because of COVID, but you weren't eligible for JobKeeper, for whatever reason, now you're also not eligible for paid parental leave. We think that's unfair and it's very easily fixed. Amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 8927, which I will move provide that, if through no fault of your own you've lost your job because of COVID-19 but you had expected to otherwise remain in employment and be eligible for PPL, then you should still be eligible for PPL.
Importantly for the number-crunchers over there, that won't increase the budget draw because those people were projected to be eligible for PPL anyway. The whole lengthy discussion we've just had actually boils down to the fact that those projections won't have changed. You're basing it on population projections, so those projections will be the same. The same people who would have been entitled to PPL when their employer existed but who, unfortunately, because of coronavirus now have no work will miss out. It's an easy fix, and it won't have any budget implications, so I am interested in knowing why the government isn't supporting this amendment, since it won't cost you any more than it otherwise would. Could you answer that, Minister, before we deal with the amendments?