New commentary is being introduced to National Workplace Relations on the Paid Parental Leave legislation, which came into operation on 1 January 2011. The commentary is written by Erin McCarthy, Elise Jenkin and Professor Andrew Stewart, all from Piper Alderman.
The legislation is lengthy and complex, and from 1 July 2011, the “paymaster” function is being handed over from the government to employers. This requires employers to become the administrators for all parental leave payments to their eligible employees. Understanding the obligations and requirements involved in such a function is essential for all organisations.
The new commentary helps draw out the important details and outlines key issues for both employees and employers.
An extract of the commentary is below:
“It is important to understand that the PPL Act does not – despite its title – confer any right to parental leave as such. Instead, it entitles eligible carers to apply for what is in effect a social security payment that is spread over up to 18 weeks, so long as the carer does not return to work during that period. Being able to receive this payment does not of itself mean that a carer can take leave from their job and be guaranteed that it will still be there when they want to return to work …
The PPL Act is notable for its length and complexity. Its drafting reflects its nature as a social security measure, and the fact that it was prepared by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, rather than the Department responsible for workplace relations legislation.”
If you require a portable, point-in-time version (current to 1 June 2011) of the primary pieces of federal employment law legislation, the latest edition of our Fair Work Legislation 2011 book has just published, and to assist during this period of transition it also includes this commentary on the Paid Parental Leave scheme.