WHAT IS PROPOSED
At the moment, new parents are entitled to receive 18 weeks of government-funded paid parental leave at the minimum wage to supplement schemes offered by employers. The 18-week supplement is taxed, and at the national minimum wage – currently around $670 a week. The revised scheme would cut or reduce payments to women who receive maternity pay from their employer. For example, today an employee entitled to eight weeks paid leave from their employer could access 18 weeks, taking their paid leave to 26 weeks, or six months. Under the proposed legislation, titled Fairer Paid Parental Leave, the same woman would be entitled to claim 10 weeks to take her paid leave to 18 weeks, or four months. The Federal Government, who aim to implement the changes from January 1, 2017, estimate the change would save $2 billion. If passed, the scheme is predicted to affect around 80,000 women, who would have their entitlement reduced or cut altogether.