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Proposed changes to parental leave

February 19, 2017

New legislation has been introduced in the Federal Parliament with the purpose of increasing paid parental leave (PPL) to 20 weeks, which is an increase from the current 18 weeks.

The Government is seeking crossbench support in the Senate for the revised PPL scheme. paid-parental-leave

The changes would mean that workers whose employers who have a PPL scheme in place which allows employees to receive at least 20 weeks at the National Minimum wage, would not be eligible to receive any PPL under the Government scheme as it aims to stop “double-dipping.” However, if the employers’ PPL scheme is less than 20 weeks then the government will pay the difference.

According to the opposition, under the revised PPL scheme 70,000 mothers will be worse off with the new arrangement.

The way in which employees will receive their PPL will also change with the payments being automatically transferred into employees’ accounts, rather than previous customs where the payments were made to the employer then transferred to the employee, otherwise known as the ‘paymaster role’. However, if an employer obtains an employer determination, the employer may still continue in this role if they wish.

“To reflect the non-mandatory nature of this role, employers who do not respond to a notice of an employer determination will no longer be potentially subject to a compliance notice” the memorandum states.

“Review of an employer determination is no longer required because the employer can simply decline the paymaster role.”

We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the Bill, however if you require any assistance with parental leave, do not hesitate to contact one of our Workplace Advisors on 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245).

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