Thursday, 11 June 2020
Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020; In Committee
Stirling Griff (SA, Centre Alliance) Share this | Hansard source
I move Centre Alliance request (1) on sheet 8959:
That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendment:
(1) Schedule 1, page 34 (after line 26), after item 111, insert:
111A After paragraph 54(1)(a)
(aa) if the child's birth mother is unlikely to satisfy the income test on the child's expected date of birth, or did not satisfy the income test on the day the child was born:
(i) the biological father of the child; or
(ii) the partner of the child's birth mother;
Statement pursuant to the order of the Senate of 26 June 2000
Amendment (1) is framed as a request because it amends the bill in a way that is intended to increase the classes of persons who can claim parental leave pay.
The amendment would allow the biological father of a child or the partner of the child's birth mother to make a primary claim for parental leave pay for a child, if the child's birth mother does not, or is not likely to, satisfy the income test at the relevant time.
As this will increase the number of persons who would be eligible to receive parental leave pay, the amendment will increase the amount of expenditure under the standing appropriation in section 307 of thePaid Parental Leave Act 2010.
Statement by the Clerk of the Senate pursuant to the order of the Senate of 26 June 2000
If the effect of the amendment is to increase expenditure under the standing appropriation in section 307 of thePaid Parental Leave Act 2010 then it is in accordance with the precedents of the Senate that the amendment be moved as a request.
This request is framed to increase the classes of persons who can claim parental leave pay. It is fully costed, and it would allow the biological father of a child or the partner of a child's birth mother to make a primary claim for parental leave pay for a child if the child's birth mother does not or is not likely to satisfy the income test at the relevant time.
As I noted in my speech, there is inequity between two families on the same combined income: they would be eligible if the man were the higher income earner but not eligible if the woman were the higher income earner, which is just unfair. The current rules just don't reflect the realities of modern parenting, with more dads staying at home to care for children. The number of stay-at-home fathers has grown to 80,000 in 2016, based on the latest census data. It is time to move away from models that assume children will be cared for by a primary carer who is the mother. Modern parents don't define themselves in this way, and it's time the legislation doesn't either. Minister, do you concede that the rule which unfairly penalises high-income earning mums and stay-at-home dads by tying eligibility to the birth mother is a discriminatory and sexist rule?