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PAID PARENTAL LEAVE BILL 2010E PAID PARENTAL LEAVE (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL 2010

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Assistant Treasurer (Senator Sherry)—That these bills be now read a second time—and on the amendment moved by Senator Fifield in respect of the Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010—

 At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate:

  (a) affirms its commitment to supporting all Australian families and supports policies which give choice and flexibility to parents to enable them to choose what is right for their individual circumstances, whether they are at home or in the paid workforce;

  (b) recognises that parents have different patterns of family responsibilities and paid work over their life cycle;

  (c) recognises that due to rising costs of living and a housing affordability crisis, the majority of families require two incomes to make ends meet;

  (d) notes that Australia remains only one of two OECD countries that does not provide a paid parental leave scheme and that introducing a paid parental scheme is critical to the needs of working families and our national productivity more broadly;


  (e) rejects the Government's representation of a paid parental leave scheme as a social security measure and instead affirms that it is a valid workplace entitlement that must come with a superannuation component to arrest the gross inadequacy of female retirement incomes;

  (f) notes the Government's proposed paid parental leave scheme is inadequate in its current form and should be amended to better reflect the requirements of Australian working mothers, and families more generally;

  (g) supports the ability of casual, part-time and full-time working women to access paid parental leave provided that they have met the qualifying criteria;

  (h)  recognises that a paid parental leave scheme is only one part of government's important role in supporting families as they raise the next generation of Australians;

  (i) acknowledges that the bill does not:

 (i) provide paid parental leave for a period of 26 weeks to afford all mothers the opportunity to breastfeed their infant for the minimum six month period recommended by the World Health Organization, or

 (ii) provide women with a replacement wage, to a cap or minimum wage (whichever is greater), and so does not adequately support working families when they are at their most financially vulnerable;

 (j) acknowledges that the bill places a totally unnecessary impost on Australian businesses by requiring employers to act as paymasters for eligible employees; and

 (k) c alls on the Government to make such amendments to the bill as would rectify these flaws".

Debate resumed.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

Main question put and passed.

Bills read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bills.

In the committee

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE BILL 2010—

Bill taken as a whole by leave.

Explanatory memorandum: The Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion (Senator Stephens) tabled a supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to the government amendments and requests for amendments to be moved to the bill.

Bill debated.


On the motion of Senator Stephens the following amendment was debated and agreed to:

 Page 2 (after line 10), after Division 1, insert:

  

Division 1A—Object of this Act

 

3A Object of this Act

  (1) The object of this Act is to provide financial support to primary carers (mainly birth mothers) of newborn and newly adopted children, in order to:

 (a) allow those carers to take time off work to care for the child after the child's birth or adoption; and

 (b) enhance the health and development of birth mothers and children; and

 (c) encourage women to continue to participate in the workforce; and

 (d) promote equality between men and women, and the balance between work and family life.

  (2) Generally, the financial support is provided only to primary carers who have a regular connection to the workforce.

  (3) The financial support provided by this Act is intended to complement and supplement existing entitlements to paid or unpaid leave in connection with the birth or adoption of a child.

Bill, as amended, further debated.

Documents: Senator Stephens tabled the following documents:

 Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010—Copies of letters to the Deputy Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) from—

  Acting Treasurer, Australian Capital Territory (Mr Stanhope), dated 26 May 2010.

  Treasurer, New South Wales (Mr Roozendaal), undated.

  Treasurer, Northern Territory (Ms Lawrie), dated 7 June 2010.

  Treasurer, Queensland (Mr Fraser), dated 27 May 2010.

  Treasurer, South Australia (Mr Foley), dated 30 May 2010.

  Treasurer, Tasmania (Mr Aird), dated 3 June 2010.

  Treasurer, Victoria (Mr Lenders), dated 10 June 2010.

  Treasurer, Western Australia (Mr Barnett), dated 2 June 2010.

Debate continued.

The Leader of the Family First Party (Senator Fielding) moved the following requests for amendments together by leave:

 That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendments:

 Clause 4, page 3 (line 27), omit "the work test,".

 Clause 6, page 18 (line 7), definition of work test, omit the definition.


 Clause 12, page 23 (lines 26 and 27), omit "the work test,".

 Clause 26, page 36 (line 9), omit paragraph (1)(a).

 Clause 26, page 36 (line 19), omit paragraph (2)(a).

 Clause 30, page 38 (line 11), omit "the work test,".

 Clause 30, page 38 (lines 20 to 24), omit the paragraph relating to Division 3.

 Clause 31, page 40 (line 8), omit paragraph (2)(a).

 Clause 31, page 40 (line 32), omit subparagraph (4)(a)(i).

 Part 2-3, page 42 (line 1) to page 45 (line 12), Division 3, omit the Part.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the requests be agreed to—put and negatived.

Senator Fielding moved the following amendments together by leave:

 Clause 6, page 8 (after line 8), after the definition of ABN, insert:

   abortion means intentionally causing the termination of a woman's pregnancy with the consent of the women by:

 (a) using an instrument; or

 (b) using a drug or a combination of drugs; or

 (c) any other means.

 Clause 6, page 17 (line 16), at the end of the definition of stillborn, add "; but does not include a child whose period of gestation was terminated by abortion".

 Clause 31, page 41 (after line 9), at the end of the clause, add:

  (6) Despite subsections (2), (3) and (4), a person is not eligible for parental leave pay for a child on a day if the child:

 (a) is stillborn following an abortion; or

 (b) has died before that day following an abortion.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.

On the motion of the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Senator Evans) the following requests for amendments, taken together by leave, were debated and agreed to:

 That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendments:

 Clause 6, page 9 (after line 15), after the definition of birth verification form, insert:

   born prematurely : a child is born prematurely if, at the time of the child's delivery, the child's period of gestation is less than 37 weeks.

 Clause 31, page 40 (line 8), after "(see Division 3)", insert "or subsection (4A) applies to the person".

 Clause 31, page 40 (line 32), after "(see Division 3)", insert "or subsection (4A) applies to the person".

 Clause 31, page 41 (after line 6), after subclause (4), insert:

  (4A) This subsection applies to a person if:

 (a) the person does not satisfy the work test in relation to a child; and

 (b) the person is the birth mother of the child; and


 (c) the Secretary is satisfied that either or both of the following subparagraphs apply:

 (i) the child was born prematurely;

 (ii) while the person was pregnant with the child, the person had complications or illness related to the pregnancy which prevented the person from performing paid work; and

 (d) the Secretary is satisfied that the person would have satisfied the work test if either or both of the subparagraphs in paragraph (c) had not applied.

Senator Hanson-Young moved the following requests for amendments together by leave:

 That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendments:

 Clause 7, page 19 (lines 23 to 27), omit "18", substitute "26" (thrice occurring).

 Clause 11, page 22 (line 30), omit "125 days", substitute "181 days".

 Clause 11, page 22 (line 31), omit "18 weeks", substitute "26 weeks".

Debate ensued.

Question—That the requests be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES, 5

Senators—

Brown, Bob

Hanson-Young

Ludlam

Milne

Siewert (Teller)

NOES, 35

Senators—

Adams

Bilyk

Birmingham

Boyce

Brown, Carol

Cameron

Cash

Cormann

Crossin

Evans

Farrell

Feeney

Ferguson

Fielding

Fifield

Fisher

Forshaw

Furner

Hurley

Hutchins

Lundy

Marshall

McEwen

McLucas

Minchin

Moore

O'Brien

Parry

Polley

Pratt

Sterle

Troeth

Trood

Williams (Teller)

Wortley

Question negatived.

Senator Hanson-Young moved the following amendments together by leave:

 Clause 36, page 44 (line 24), omit "56", substitute "84".

 Clause 36, page 45 (line 7), omit "56", substitute "84".

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.


Senator Hanson-Young moved the following requests for amendments together by leave:

 That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendments:

 Heading to Chapter 3, page 61 (line 1), at the end of the heading, add "and superannuation".

 Clause 62, page 61 (at the end of line 10), after "(see Part 3-3).", insert "Instalments are treated as salary or wages for superannuation purposes (see Part 3-6).".

 Page 101 (after line 8), at the end of Chapter 3, add:

  

Part 3-6—Superannuation

 

115A Entitlement to superannuation

   Parental leave pay instalments are to be treated as income, in the nature of salary or wages, and as part of ordinary time earnings for the purposes of superannuation law.

    

115B Payments in lieu of superannuation

  (1) Section 115A does not operate so as to impose taxation.

  (2) If, under section 115A, a superannuation contribution may not be made to a person in relation to an instalment because of the operation of subsection (1), the Secretary may make a payment to the person in lieu of that superannuation contribution.

   

115C Regulations—superannuation

  (1) Regulations made for the purposes of this Part may provide for the following matters:

 (a) the calculation of amounts of superannuation;

 (b) the making of superannuation contributions;

 (c) the calculation of amounts to be paid in lieu of superannuation;

 (d) the payment of amounts in lieu of superannuation.

  (2) Without limiting subsection (1), regulations made for the purpose of that subsection may:

 (a) modify provisions of this Act or of the superannuation law; or

 (b) provide for the application (with or without modifications) of provisions of this Act or of the superannuation law, to matters to which they would otherwise not apply.

 

115D Interpretation

   In this Part:

   superannuation law means:

 (a) the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 and instruments made under that Act; and

 (b) the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and instruments made under that Act; and

 (c) the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, and instruments made under that Act, to the extent that they deal with superannuation.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the requests be agreed to—put.


The committee divided—

AYES, 5

Senators—

Brown, Bob

Hanson-Young

Ludlam

Milne

Siewert (Teller)

NOES, 34

Senators—

Adams

Back

Bilyk

Birmingham

Boswell

Cameron

Colbeck

Collins

Coonan

Cormann

Crossin

Feeney

Ferguson

Fielding

Fisher

Furner

Hurley

Hutchins

Lundy

Macdonald

Marshall

Mason

McEwen

McLucas

Minchin

Moore

Parry

Polley

Pratt

Stephens

Sterle

Troeth

Williams (Teller)

Wortley

Question negatived.

After 12.45 pm: The Acting Deputy President (Senator Crossin) resumed the chair and the Chair of Committees (Senator Ferguson) reported progress.