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Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010

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2008-2009-2010

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010

 

 

(1)     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.

[object of the Act]

(2)     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.

[work test]

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

[work test]

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

[work test]

(5)     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.

[work test]

(6)     Page 86 (after line 29), at the end of Division 2, add:

99A   Payment of paid parental leave does not affect other employer obligations

                   An obligation of an employer to pay a person parental leave pay under this Act is in addition to any other obligation the employer may have in relation to the person, however that other obligation might arise (including, for example, under another law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, or an industrial instrument (however described)).

[employer obligations]

(7)     Page 236 (after line 20) , after clause  307 , insert:

307A   Review of the operation of this Act

             (1)  The Minister must cause a comprehensive review of the general operation of this Act to be begun by 31 January 2013.

             (2)  The review must consider the following matters:

                     (a)  the amount of time off work that primary carers are taking to care for newborn or newly adopted children;

                     (b)  the availability and amount of leave and payments provided by employers in relation to the birth or adoption of a child, and the interaction of those entitlements with parental leave pay provided under this Act;

                     (c)  the operation of the work test;

                     (d)  whether primary claimants’ partners should be paid parental leave pay separately from, or in addition to, primary claimants;

                     (e)  whether employers should make superannuation contributions in relation to parental leave pay;

                      (f)  the results of any evaluations conducted in relation to the operation of this Act;

                     (g)  the administration of this Act;

                     (h)  any other matter relevant to the general operation of this Act.

             (3)  The Minister must ensure that public submissions are sought in relation to the review.

             (4)  The Minister must cause a copy of a written report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of the day on which the Minister receives the report.

[review of operation of Act]



 

Parliamentary Counsel

Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010

AF249

Statement of reasons: why certain amendments should be moved as requests

Section 53 of the Constitution is as follows:

Powers of the Houses in respect of legislation

53. Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate. But a proposed law shall not be taken to appropriate revenue or moneys, or to impose taxation, by reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under the proposed law.

The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people.

The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, requesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications.

Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

Amendments (2), (3), (4) and (5)

The effect of these amendments is to allow a birth mother who does not meet the work test to be eligible for parental leave pay if the Secretary is satisfied that the mother would have met the work test but for the premature birth of her child, or pregnancy related complications or illness. This expands the eligibility criteria for parental leave pay and will increase the amount of parental leave pay that is payable under the Bill. Parental leave pay is paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund under the standing appropriation in clause 307 of the Bill. The amendments are covered by section 53 because increasing the amount of parental leave pay paid out under clause 307 of the Bill will increase the proposed charge or burden on the people.



 

Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010

SHEET AF249

 

 

 

Statement by the Clerk of the Senate pursuant

to the order of the Senate of 26 June 2000

 

 

 



Amendments (2) and (5)

 

The effect of these amendments is to expand the eligibility criteria so that certain mothers who do not satisfy the work test may still be eligible for parental leave pay. Although the payment is subject to the Secretary’s discretion, if such a payment is made, the increased expenditure would be met directly from the standing appropriation contained in clause 307 of the bill.

 

The Senate has long followed the practice that it should treat as requests amendments which would result in increased expenditure under a standing appropriation. On the basis that these amendments would result in increased expenditure under the standing appropriation in clause 307 of the bill, it is in accordance with the precedents of the Senate that these amendments be moved as requests.

 

Amendments (3) and (4)

 

Amendments (3) and (4) are consequential on the requests. It is the practice of the Senate that amendments purely consequential on amendments framed as requests should also be framed as requests.