It’s been a bit quiet on the Paid Parental Leave front. No doubt negotiations have continued behind the scenes between the Senators with the casting votes in the Upper House and the Minister for Social Services who has proposed the changes. As with a lot of these negotiations, in order to get the Bill through the Senate a number of compromises are expected.
In interesting news today, it has been suggested that one of those compromises may be to extend the total Paid Parental Leave period from 18 weeks to 20 weeks. For most parents that would mean two more weeks of $672.60. It would not change the new proposal to reduce the number of weeks of government Paid Parental Leave if you also receive employer provided leave. It would just mean that, if for example, you receive 8 weeks of paid leave from your employer, you would now receive 12 weeks from the government instead of 10.
One of the Senators with a casting vote, Derryn Hinch, is still pushing for a later start date of 1 October 2017 which would mean that anyone who is currently pregnant will not be affected by any changes in the legislation. It would also mean that from now on, anyone who becomes pregnant will not be surprised by the changes and can adequately budget for their proposed leave period. That has been the one thing that has really frustrated me ever since the original ‘double dipping’ changes were delayed as they tried to pass through parliament. If you are going to make changes to the amount of income parents can receive (up OR down), give families and their employers enough time to take these changes into account when planning for their financial future.
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