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5 top tips for a painless Paid Parental Leave scheme in your business

Better HR – Australia’s number one online employment relations service

Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme, funded by the Commonwealth Government, came into effect on 1 January 2011.  The scheme provides 18 weeks’ pay for the primary carer of a newly born or adopted child at the federal minimum wage of $569.90 a week before tax.  As an employer, you will be responsible for administering Paid Parental Leave for your eligible employees from 1 July 2011.

In talking with our customers, we’ve found that many owners and managers of small businesses are confused about their responsibilities in administering the scheme.  So to help make things a little easier, we’ve developed a Paid Parental Leave flow chart on the Better HR platform.  This flow chart takes you through the different steps you need to take to administer the Paid Parental Leave Scheme.

Of course, Better HR subscribers get ready access to the Paid Parental Leave flow chart, updated employment contracts and HR policies including a specific Paid Parental Leave Policy.

Here are our 5 top tips for compliance:

1. Take the time now to understand your obligations

There’s a wealth of information for employers at the Family Assistance Office website – or you can attend Better HR’s free webinar on the Paid Parental Leave scheme which is scheduled for February.

2. Work out employee eligibility

There are strict minimum work period requirements and an employee’s income cannot exceed $150,000 a year.

3. Provide necessary details to the Family Assistance Office

Employers need to register through Centrelink’s Business Online Services portal.

4. Work out how you’ll keep appropriate records

You must keep records of the funds you receive from the Commonwealth Government and their subsequent distribution to employees.

5. Communicate with your employees

The Paid Parental Leave scheme does not provide a right to additional leave.  Leave entitlements are set out in the National Employment Standards (NES) and have not changed.  However, this area is causing a  great deal of confusion as the eligibility rules specified in the new paid parental leave scheme are more generous than the existing parental leave entitlements set out in the NES.  What this means is that an employee may be entitled to a parental leave payment but not entitled to take the leave.  We know this is a very confusing situation and our experts are closely following developments to ensure we can provide assistance and support to our subscribers. Remember, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) can enforce an employer’s obligations under the Paid Parental Leave scheme and will investigate related complaints. Penalties for breaches of these obligations may also be imposed.

Paid Parental Leave webinar                          ­­

To allay this confusion, we’re running a special webinar session on 2nd February on what the new law means to your business.  As there’s a six month transitionary period, we’ll outline your responsibilities and obligations that come into effect on 1 July 2011. We’ll cover:

  1. Your obligations as an employer
  2. How your business receives funding for paid Parental Leave
  3. How payments made under the new scheme work with any existing obligations you may have with respect to Paid Parental Leave
  4. How you can use the policies and procedures section of the Better HR service to your full advantage
  5. How Better HR can assist you to resolve your Paid Parental Leave enquiries

Make sure you don’t miss out!

2 February 2011, 12:30 pm AEDST

Register now!

If ever there was a time for you to subscribe to Better HR for compliance with the Fair Work laws and Modern Awards, it’s now.  Book a product demo today!

 

Disclaimer
This article is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice may be necessary in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this article. Better HR Pty Ltd is not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information in this article, nor for any error or omission in this article.