Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Opposition caught out on Paid Parental Leave

The Federal Opposition has today confirmed they have no understanding of the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme.

The Shadow Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson’s claims about payroll tax and worker compensation are untrue and are a clear attempt to mislead Australian businesses.

Every state and territory has formally confirmed that Paid Parental Leave will not be subject to payroll tax. This was made clear by the Government during the Parliamentary debate on the Bill and letters containing this advice were tabled in the Parliament on 16 June 2010.

Section 98 of the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 also includes a specific provision that prevents employers from being subject to any additional workers compensation liabilities as a result of the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme.1

In his rushed attempt at scaremongering Mr Billson has proven he can’t even check his facts properly.

The Government’s scheme implements the expert recommendations of the Productivity Commission.

Our scheme is fully Government-funded and is fair for families and fair to business.

In contrast, the Opposition’s scheme would impose a new tax on businesses and would have a gross cost of $4.3 billion in the first year alone.

Under the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme, parental leave pay is delivered as a workplace entitlement, just like sick leave or any other form of leave.

We believe it is important for women to remain connected to their workplace when they take time off to have a baby.

The Government’s scheme will help employers retain skilled staff and boost workforce participation.

It is estimated that only around three per cent of small businesses will make payments under the scheme in any given year.

Australian small businesses will benefit by retaining valuable, skilled staff.

  1. See Section 98 – Exemption from operation of workers’ compensation and accident compensation laws