Tony Abbott Abandons Signature Paid Parental Leave Scheme
In a speech at the National Press Club on 2 February 2015, Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed that his signature parental leave scheme is now off the table. Instead, Mr Abbott will purportedly be focusing his attention on a family assistance package that will allow for more affordable and available childcare.
Mr Abbott’s proposed paid parental leave scheme was to provide mothers with 26 weeks of paid parental leave at their actual wage (capped at $150,000.00 per annum). This is in contrast to the current paid parental scheme implemented by the Rudd government in 2010 which pays 18 weeks at the national minimum wage, currently $641.06 per week.
Mr Abbott cited the advice of the Productivity Commission, colleagues and ‘mums and dads around Australia’ as the reason for his decision.
The net cost of Mr Abbott’s proposed paid parental leave scheme was to be originally funded by a 1.5 percent levy on companies with taxable incomes in excess of $5 million. It is unclear whether the proposed levy will be retained for the family assistance package. Details of the family assistance package are not yet known.
For further information regarding the proposed changes or on paid parental leave generally, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment Law and Workplace Safety team by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +613 8540 0200.