The minister for women, Kelly O’Dwyer has released the government’s ‘Women’s Economic Security Statement’ which includes changes to Paid Parental Leave.  There are a large number of other initiatives that are designed to improve women’s financial security by focusing on workforce participation, earning potential and economic independence.

The start date for these initiatives will be 1 July 2020.

There is a significant focus in the Statement on helping victims of domestic violence achieve economic independence through early access to superannuation and increased funding for no interest loans.

The changes to Paid Parental Leave Scheme are designed to improve the flexibility of the current system, especially for those who are self employed and small business owners.

I regularly discuss with small business owners the problem of keeping their business going while meeting the requirements of the PPL Scheme of not working for 18 weeks. Few small business have that option available to them.

The proposed changes include:

Splitting your Paid Parental Leave into separate blocks.

Currently you must take the entire 18 weeks of payments in one continuous block. If you need to return to work before your 18 weeks are finished then you lose any remaining PPL. Currently about 2,300 people return to work each year before they have received the full 18 weeks of their payment entitlement and they miss out.

The new initiative will mandate the first 12 weeks to be taken within the first year of the child’s life, but the second block of six weeks can be taken within the first two years.

Changes to the Work Test

The current Work Test requires that you work for 330 hours in 10 months out of the 13 months before your due date. This must be done without a gap of more than 8 weeks between two work days.

The new initiative will allow for greater flexibility in the Work Test with gaps of up to 12 months allowed. There will also be the ability to move your Work Test dates forward should you have to stop work earlier in your pregnancy than expected.

 

The no interest loan scheme is already available and further information can be found here: https://goodshepherdmicrofinance.org.au/services/no-interest-loan-scheme-nils/

I will keep updating this page each time more information is announced on the changes to Paid Parental Leave.

I have created a free checklist that you can download to help you gather the information you will require when you sit down and prepare your application. Enter your details below and the PPL Checklist will be emailed to you.

As always, feel free to ask any questions.

Lisa

 

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