On 12 May 2010, the long awaited Paid Parental Leave Bill
2010 (Bill) was introduced into the federal
The Bill seeks to establish, for the first time in Australia, a
uniform paid parental leave scheme (Scheme) which
will enable eligible primary carers to receive 18 weeks of paid
parental leave at the national minimum wage.
Under the Bill, the Scheme will be available to primary carers
who have or adopt a child on or after 1 January 2011 and who can
satisfy the work, income and residency tests. In particular, a
parent will be eligible for paid parental leave if the person
applying for the leave:
has worked for a total period spanning at least 10 of the 13
months prior to the expected birth or adoption of the child with a
break of no more than eight weeks between any two consecutive work
has undertaken at least 330 hours of paid work during the
10-month period (an average of around one day of paid work a
has an income of $150,000 or less (to be indexed annually from
1 July 2012) in the financial year before the claim or birth of the
baby, whichever is the earlier
is living in Australia and is an Australian citizen or
permanent resident (although there are some exceptions).
The Scheme will be funded by the federal government but
administered by employers through their own payroll systems. The
Scheme is intended to compliment (as opposed to replace) paid
parental schemes that employers already offer to their
The Bill has been referred to the Senate Community Affairs
Legislation Committee (Committee) for review and
inquiry. The Committee's report on the Bill is due on 3 June
Implications for employers
Employers may wish to start reviewing or preparing their own
parental leave schemes in light of the pending legislation.
Employers should also follow the progress of the Bill closely.
Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
This WHS decision clarified the interpretation of s 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
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