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Parental LeaveMay 12, 2015
Jo Hockey chose Mother’s Day to make a surprise announcement to the nation. Hockey revealed a new childcare package that would change parental leave payments for Australian working parents. If you are employed and your work provides you with a paid parental leave scheme, you may longer be able to also receive monies from the government as well.
At the moment the government provides paid parental leave to all Australian families who have a new born. This entitlement is 18 weeks of paid leave. On top of that, if your employer also has a parental leave scheme of their own, you receive that payment too. This is referred to as double dipping. The change brought in by the Abbott government will put a stop to these families currently receiving two different financial benefits.
Jo Hockey said that “we are going to stop that [double dipping] … You cannot get both parental leave from your employer and from taxpayers.” By abolishing double dipping it will “save nearly $1 billion over four years”.
There has been some backlash from some, including Sydney University professor of employment relations Marian Baird, who says that the absence of additional funding will mean that mothers won’t have sufficient time with their babies. Professor Baird said “women [should] get 26 weeks of paid parental leave income to promote breast-feeding and bonding between mothers and their babies.” This means that some mothers might go back to work early because of their financial situation.
Currently more than 50% of mothers, which is around 90,000 woman a year, will not be affected by the change. However it could mean that if Australian employers offer a paid parental leave scheme, as part of their employment agreement, Aussie mums and dads will be encouraged to take jobs with these benefits. Employers can encourage staff retention as a result of these schemes as well.
If you would like to implement a parental leave scheme or if you have any questions relating to parental leave, contact Employsure today on 1300 651 415. Employsure can answer any query relating to parental leave and the entitlements of employees. If you are a business owner and want to ensure that you are meeting your employment obligations, when it comes to parental leave, Employsure will provide you with the policies and procedures so that your business is compliant.
Sourced: Sydney Morning Herald