EconomicSecurity4Women, of which BPW Australia is a member, has urged the Federal Government to refer its contentious Paid Parental Leave (PPL) Scheme to the Productivity Commission Review on Childcare.
The new PPL Scheme is due to commence on 1 July 2015 if legislation passes the Senate, however a number of key women’s organisations believe it should be linked closely with any major reforms on childcare – which has a much greater impact on the capacity of women to work and care than PPL.
EconomicSecurity4Women has noted the government’s assurances that:
- It will consult with business groups, unions, superannuation and women’s organisations, not-for-profit representatives, rural groups and state and territory governments ahead of the introduction of the legislation;
- It does not intend to displace existing PPL schemes provided under industrial agreements, but will take on an employer’s responsibility to provide the payment and superannuation up to the PPL wage amount;
- Employee entitlements set out in existing enterprise agreements will not be affected – employees will not lose any conditions they already receive;
- Employers will continue to be allowed to determine their own policies including offering top-ups to attract staff;
- As the costs of providing payments during parental leave is lifted off employers, they will be directed to/encouraged to invest in other work/family policies;
- All eligible men and women will receive the same minimum payment during leave – that is, their actual wage, or national minimum wage if higher, for 26 weeks.