Flexibility for Paid Parental Leave Scheme

This article applies to all organisations in Australia.

Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020 (Cth)

Please be advised that the Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the Bill) passed the Commonwealth Parliament on 11 June 2020 and received Royal Assent on 16 June 2020. This Bill is due to commence on 1 July 2020.

Overview

The purpose of the Bill is to better support working mothers and primary carers for children to access their parental leave pay more flexibly.

The Bill proposes to amend the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Cth) (the PPL Act). Specifically, the Bill will implement new arrangements relating to the government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme (PPL scheme). Families who seek to access parental leave pay under the PPL scheme, will be provided with wider and more flexible options. In addition, the Bill aims to introduce key aspects of the Women’s Economic Security Package, which includes measures to support women’s economic independence by allowing primary careers of a child to access parental leave pay more flexibly.

Information to which the Bill applies

Currently under the PPL Act, Parental Leave Pay can only be taken as a continuous 18-week block, within the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of the child. From 1 July 2020, parents will be able to split their parental leave pay into blocks over a two-year period, with periods of work in between.

Provided the person claiming parental leave pay meets the eligibility criteria under the Bill, their initial continuous 12-week block may be taken within the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of a child for “a period of recuperation and bonding”, without returning to work during this initial block. Parents will be able to take their remaining entitlement of up to six weeks any time before their child’s second birthday and can return to work any time during this period.

More specifically under the Bill, parents (and other claimants in limited cases) will be able to claim 2 types of Paid Parental Leave. The first type will be an initial period of 12 weeks called the PPL period. The rules relating to this block will be identical to the existing 18-week period payment scheme, except that the period will be reduced in length.

The second type is new and will take place during the person’s flexible PPL period. Days within this period are called ‘flexible PPL days’. Section 31AA outlines eligible parents (and other claimants in some situations) for paid leave on a flexible PPL day for a child. A parent will be able to claim PPL for a maximum of 30 days (section 4) at any day they chose during the flexible PPL period that is after the initial 12-week period but within 24 months of the birth or adoption of a child.

For example, after the initial 12 week period, if an employee who previously worked 5 days per week  wishes to return for 2 days, he/she will be  entitled to claim the other 3 days as flexible parental leave pay for a 6 week period.

Also, if the primary carer consents, a carer can also use the flexible paid parental leave. For example, of a carer only wishes to use 3 weeks of the flexible paid parental leave, a secondary eligible carer is entitled to the 3 weeks within the applicable 6- week period (i.e. that period after the initial 12 weeks).

Please click here to access the full Bill.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au

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