11 Jun New Changes to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme
The 2015 Federal Budget proposes changes to the Paid Parental Leave scheme, due to come into effect on 1 July 2015.
The changes aim to prevent employees from claiming paid parental leave from both their employer and the Government scheme. This week, we inform our readers of what the changes are and how they might affect employers and employees expecting a child.
Currently, employees that meet eligibility requirements under the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme are able to claim 18 weeks paid parental leave when they take time off work to care for a newborn child. Employees can claim this benefit even if their employer provides similar paid leave benefits.
The proposed changes aim to restrict the eligibility of parents receiving additional payments over 18 weeks from employer-funded schemes. If the changes go ahead, employees may only claim the Paid Parental Leave benefit from the Government if they receive less than 18 weeks paid parental leave from a workplace funded scheme. The employee will be able to receive benefits under the Government funded scheme so that they are able to receive the maximum 18 weeks paid leave.
However, if an employee receives more than 18 weeks paid parental leave benefits from their employer, they will not be eligible to receive paid leave under the Government Scheme. Employees who are currently expecting a child, should consider whether they are entitled to collect under the existing scheme and should reconsider how they will negotiate with their workplace on issues of paid parental leave.
Employers should keep informed and ensure their policies and procedures are updated accordingly with the changes to the law in this area.
Employers may also wish to reconsider the structure of the workplace’s paid parental leave scheme as a result of these changes.
Remember that Paid Parental Leave Schemes are attractive to prospective employees and can form part of a healthy workplace culture.
Finally, existing employee paid agreements stand and must be upheld. Any changes or variations must be renegotiated with the consent of employees. We advise you seek professional assistance, as the best way to go about doing this will often depend on the circumstances and specific terms of the agreement.
What Should I Do Next?
Contact Pinnacle HR on 08 8232 2820 if you would like more information on the new changes to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme.
Prepared by Sarah Bartholomeusz from You Legal.