A workplace entitlement: give me a break

Has anyone noticed various Abbott government ministers doing handstands to explain how our welfare system is deemed to be unsustainable but it is OK to introduce a new welfare entitlement in the form of a souped-up Paid Parental Leave scheme, which will cost north of $5.5 billion a year?

Give me a break, I say.

A workplace entitlement is something that is paid for by the employer and is the result of mutually beneficial bargaining, individual or collective, at best, or mandated industrial conditions, at worst. 

The idea that the taxpayer should be footing the bill for around 150,000 new mothers each year so they can maintain their earnings for six months is completely DAFT and it is just another form of WELFARE.

The idea that this is some sort of productivity enhancing measure is also DAFT.  Clearly, the ministers have not read the Productivity Commission report on this topic where it is concluded that the growth of productivity is slightly impeded by virtue of a mandatory PPL.

In any case, if providing PPL is good for productivity, then firms will voluntarily enter into paying for paid parental leave – no need for the government to intervene.

If this is not bad enough, it seems that the Abbott government is now intent on introducing a liberty-sapping initiative by outlawing all private PPLs and making the new gold-plated taxpayer funded scheme the only lawful one.

Give me another break, on steroids.  What planet are they living on?  No doubt, there will be mention of avoiding double-dipping, extra expense, fairness, etc.  But hang on, if you have entered into a contract with PPL (and this may have been one of the attractions of taking the job), what right does the federal government have to eliminate this right?

And the naivety of it all – for very talented workers, employers will just enter into another type  of arrangement – a loyalty bonus – and avoid this nutty federal take-over.

Here’s the piece:

The Abbott government plans to use its constitutional powers to override all existing parental leave schemes, according to briefings given to independent experts.

The move would ensure all working women get 26 weeks of leave at full pay from 2015, capped at $75,000, regardless of current contracts, collective agreements or award conditions.

The present paid parental leave (PPL) scheme guarantees 18 weeks at the ­minimum wage.

University of Sydney academic ­Marian Baird, who has been briefed on the scheme by federal officials, said the government planned to use the “social welfare” powers in the constitution to ensure all women received the same leave ­entitlement.

“As I understand it, the government wants to use what is called the social welfare powers of the constitution to displace existing paid parental leave entitlements,” she said.

“This is an unexpected development because the power, to my knowledge, has not been used in industrial arrangements before.”

Big businesses would no longer be able to “top up” minimum parental leave entitlements to attract staff.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s scheme, widely perceived as having wooed female voters at the last election, will require the nation’s 3000 largest companies to pay a new 1.5 per cent levy. However, the extra impost on business will be offset by a cut in the company tax rate from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent. The PPL is forecast to cost $5.5 billion a year when fully operating.

The relevant section of the constitution is 51 23(a), which covers the provision of maternity allowances, family allowances and child endowment. ­Professor Baird said the government would seek to use the power to override all other existing paid parental leave entitlements in enterprise agreements, awards and employment contracts.

“I’m sure the union movement will oppose it, as might some employers, because they would see their existing enterprise agreements having the force of law,” she said.

“The ability for employers to use parental leave as a competitive advantage in the labour market will be taken away. The argument [from the government] might be that employers can turn their attention to other policies – childcare being the most obvious.”

Many collective agreements contain nuanced paid parental leave policies.

“Within agreements there are often other parts of the clause which talk about when you can take it, [and] the way in which the payment might be made,” she said.

“Certainly in the public sector, including teaching for example, those agreements allow employees to take their parental leave at half-pay for ­double the time. That has a tax advantage, which is why people do it, but the government is not allowing that.”

Three other sources confirmed the details of the plan, including Marie Coleman, a women’s rights activist who advised the former Labor government on its paid parental leave scheme.

She said the use of constitutional powers to intervene in existing arrangements was worrisome. “I am concerned about what is going to happen where we have good schemes which were designed to be employer of choice and they suddenly no longer apply,” she said.

Ms Coleman said the growing number of women who worked on short-term contracts were set to miss out altogether.

“Under the work-test requirements, if you haven’t worked in the past eight weeks, you will no longer have access to the baby bonus after March or the Abbott government’s paid parental leave scheme,” she said.

Participation of state and territory employees in the national scheme appears to be assured.

At a December meeting of the ­Coalition of Australian Governments, it was decided that “officials will work together closely on imple­mentation arrangements and funding for the ­proposed Commonwealth national scheme.”

“The Commonwealth’s intention is that states will not be financially ­disadvantaged and the scheme will be administratively simple,” a commun­iqué issued after the December 13 ­meeting said.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrew’s office declined to comment on the briefings. “We are keeping our election promises,” a spokesperson said. “This is a productivity boosting measure that will strengthen the economy. The legislation we will introduce into the Parliament will reflect the ­mandate we’ve received from the Australian people. Australians want and deserve a fair dinkum PPL scheme, and its time has come.”

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney said the ­proposal had yet to be formally canvassed with her but she was due to be briefed on Wednesday. Two other sources who met with departmental officials on Tuesday have confirmed the government’s thinking.

Ms Kearney said unions were wary .

“We would be very concerned it would undermine employers to value-add and number two it would undermine the hard work by employers who have successfully negotiated paid parental leave conditions,”  she said.

With the budget situation tight, the Coalition is under pressure to scale back the scheme.

Discussions were held with the Greens late last year about the structure of the parental leave scheme. The Greens want lower payments than the generous rates preferred by Mr Abbott.

“If you are a mother on minimum award wages you will be $5,000 better off under this policy,” Mr Abbott said in August.

“If you are a mother on average earnings you will be $21,000 better off under this policy. No business will be worse off, certainly no business will face an increased tax burden under our policy.”

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134 Responses to A workplace entitlement: give me a break

  1. ChrisPer

    The problem is, hung Parliaments in this coutry don’t involve enough lamp-posts.

  2. Mayan

    ChrisPer: It’s hanged parliaments.

    Wallpaper is hung, people are hanged.

  3. ChrisPer

    Yes Mayan, but if I chose that it wouldn’t play the lexicographical ambiguity for a reward of delicious self-righteousness.

  4. Mike of Marion

    If you were the one swinging, I don’t think you’d care two hoots whether it was ‘hanged’ or ‘hung’!!!!

  5. Bugme

    As a Liberal voter…………….not happy at all. This government is like Labor lite (similar to most Liberal state government)………..get with the program and make the hard decisions.

  6. .

    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    It is things like this why I rejected joining the Liberals in favour of the LDP.

  7. Empire Strikes Back

    Look on the bright side Judith. The current socialist government isn’t as bad as the previous socialist government (yet).

  8. H B Bear

    The Paid Parental Leave scheme was always a marketing exercise to show that Tony Abbott understood women.

    Think of the $5.5bn cost as an election expense.

  9. Tom

    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    Excellent point, Dot. This is going to have the same effect on women’s employment as the Liars Party’s corrupt buggering of the industrial relations system is having on youth employment in particular and employment generally.

    September was the first and last time I vote for the LNP. LDP from now on for me.

  10. Ellen of Tasmania

    to show that Tony Abbott understood women.

    …. but not economics.

  11. twostix

    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    Exactly.

    On the one hand you could say it’s a sop to grrrl power women by a whimpering socialist. On the other you could say it’s a clever ploy by a Conservative to wreck child bearing aged womens standing in the labour market.

  12. Dr Faustus

    Think of the $5.5bn cost as an election expense.

    Correct.

    And an unnecessary one: Gillard/Rudd were drowning in sleaze and incompetence and were off to the knackers’ yard under pretty much all circumstances – and most of the beneficiaries of PPL will continue to hate Abbott for kaffeeklatch reasons.

  13. Rabz

    On the other you could say it’s a clever ploy by a Conservative misogynist to wreck child bearing aged womens standing in the labour market.

    Correct terminology, please!

  14. Infidel Tiger

    Obamacare Abbotcare. Let’s hope it does to Abbott what it’s done to the Kenyan.

  15. james

    Let’s hope it does to Abbott what it’s done to the Kenyan.

    Re-election?

  16. candy

    The Greens will force a compromise on it anyway. There was always going to be a PPL.

  17. Infidel Tiger

    Re-election?

    I hope not. I was thinking more along the lines of: politically destroyed, exposed as a meddling Marxist and resigned to the dustbin of history as a terrible mistake.

  18. ChrisPer

    I will cheerfully support this massive piece of middle-class welfare statist bollocks, if teh Abbott Government can control the budget to more than compensate, eviscerate the ABC return the ABC to balanced reporting, cut illegal immigration and reduce overweening bureaucratic obstruction by say 50%.

    I am prepared to be reasonable, and allow him another 12 months to do it.

  19. Rabz

    There was always going to be a PPL.

    There already is. The Rudd/Lardarse PPL remains utterly unjustifiable, as is the PPL ‘entitlement’ for public servants.

    Just scrap the bloody things. There are enough government transfers to people who have kiddies as it is. About the only incentive I’d tolerate would be certain changes to the taxation regime for married couples who have kiddies.

  20. crocodile

    As a Liberal voter…………….not happy at all. This government is like Labor lite (similar to most Liberal state government)………..get with the program and make the hard decisions.

    Are you happy with the amount of welfare introduced by the Howard government.

  21. Grigory M

    eviscerate the ABC return the ABC

    FIFY. You had it right the first time.

  22. Megan

    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    Having worked in HR, and even though it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy or family status, I can tell you there are plenty of ways to choose a candidate for a role that will not be in need of PPL. It’s simple, when the costs of hiring a worker rise then demand for that worker falls. When Germany cut it’s parental leave entitlement by half in 2007, there was a significant surge in women returning to work.

    And from the perspective of flexibility, this particular scheme will probably also reduce many of the other accommodations that employers make to keep women with children in the workforce.

  23. Grigory M

    There are enough government transfers to people who have kiddies as it is. About the only incentive I’d tolerate would be certain changes to the taxation regime for married couples who have kiddies.

    Rabz, in that second sentence you are actually saying there are not enough government transfers to people who have kiddies.

  24. Tony Abbott is going to need Greens support to get this through the Senate. I and at least two other minor party senators will never support it, and I suspect a few Liberal senators will suddenly have pressing engagements on the day of the vote. It’s about as popular as a fart in a lift with some of his party.

  25. Alfonso

    Even self employed Tradies who should know better live by the mantra “as much as possible from the govt, we are here for a short time”. Write it on stone pillars, it explains everything. There is no way back.

  26. JC

    I and at least two other minor party senators will never support it,

    Finally. a comment with teeth and actually means something . Go with god my son.

  27. candy

    Tony Abbott is quite determined on the PPL, and it’s an election promise too so there’s no going back.
    But somehow I don’t think he’ll mind when the Greens force a compromise, it works well for him.

  28. Grigory M

    Tony Abbott is going to need Greens support to get this through the Senate.

    Perhaps not. I suspect that a Double Dissolution is still in prospect before 30 June 2014. If so, then the PP Scheme is likely to be strongly promoted as part of the Government’s re-election campaign. Indeed, if the legislation can be introduced early enough the PP Scheme might even provide a DD trigger and would be passed by a post-election Joint Sitting (assuming the Government is re-elected).

  29. Andrew

    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    At least some good comes of it then.

  30. Andrew

    That’s “Abbott regime,” Chris

  31. ChrisPer

    Grigory M:Indeed, if the legislation can be introduced early enough the PP Scheme might even provide a DD trigger and would be passed by a post-election Joint Sitting

    If it gets them enough power to go the full agenda without dithering for a whole term, so be it. I would even go hand out Julie Bishop’s HTV cards (after doing Shooters Party for the rush hours).

  32. Rabz

    Grigory – I disagree. I’ve advocated scrapping all existing payments and any PPL scheme, with some simple taxation incentives for married couples adopted instead.

    As for bloody single mothers, there should be a cap on any payments they are able to receive, with transfers stopped after perhaps one or two sprogs, with ruthless financial support obligations enforced on the fathers, rather than the long suffering taxpayer.

  33. nonmus

    I’d rather be well hung than well hanged!

  34. rebel with cause

    The absurd irony is that a woman on $150,000 a year should be the one that is most able to afford kids. The cost of giving children a decent upbringing is not proportionate to income unless you choose to make it so (through designer children’s clothes, Mercedes-Benz SUV, expensive private school etc etc).

    In fact, in some respects raising kids is cheaper than ever – just take a gander at how many clothes and toys the average tot has these days. I can all but guarantee that the average kid has more toys than they will ever play with, and more outfits than they will ever wear. Everywhere we allow private enterprise to flourish, the cost of raising kids is falling.

  35. Squirrel

    This is the political equivalent of the Magic Pudding for Labor – every unpopular Budget measure considered or put forward by the Abbott Government can be opposed and attacked by Labor as being unnecessary and avoidable “if only we weren’t paying for Mr Abbott’s rolled gold millionaires’ parental leave scheme” (or words to that effect). Even if the Budget cuts opposed add up to several times the estimated annual cost of the PPL, that “minor” detail will be lost on many voters and this will, for Labor, be the political gift which just keeps on giving. Add to this the inevitable stories of rorts – actual and perceived – which will be given, I imagine, lavish attention by all sections of the media.

    On a small(ish) point of detail, I will believe the claim of administrative simplicity when I see it – aside from any administrative costs for employers, I imagine this scheme will justify a healthy increase to the administrative resources which would otherwise have been available to the administering Commonwealth agency.

    This, along with the now bipartisan commitment not to touch the aged pension, will make the task of getting to a sustainable 1% Budget surplus within a decade a very, very challenging exercise.

  36. H B Bear

    Are you happy with the amount of welfare introduced by the Howard government.

    Howard raised buying elections to an art form. At least he did it out of cashflow.

  37. Ant

    Abbott would be crazy to brazenly break this promise. He simply can’t do it, regardless of what some of the HCs on this blog think.

    Needless to say, he was a complete dunderhead for proposing it in the first place, but what can you do!

    The only way out is to have it defeated in the senate and then consign the idea to a septic tank.

  38. Rabz

    Howard raised buying elections to an art form

    Not every election, Bear. Howard went to the electorate in 1998 promising ‘a great big new tax’ – and he was re-elected.

  39. rebel with cause

    This is the political equivalent of the Magic Pudding for Labor – every unpopular Budget measure considered or put forward by the Abbott Government can be opposed and attacked by Labor as being unnecessary and avoidable “if only we weren’t paying for Mr Abbott’s rolled gold millionaires’ parental leave scheme” (or words to that effect)

    Good point. They were already doing this on the news last night.

  40. Tom

    I and at least two other minor party senators will never support it

    Go, David. Keep standing up for principle and you will have displaced the Greens as the biggest of the minor parties in the next 6-12 years.

  41. Rabz

    he was a complete dunderhead for proposing it in the first place

    This.

    A, because it’s absurd and unaffordable and B, because he can’t backtrack on it*. Could you imagine the squealing and bleating of lobotomised leftist losers (BIRM) if they did scrap it?

    You’d be able to hear it in outer space.

    *Barring of course, an obstructive senate.

  42. Old School Conservative

    I was about to write “Mr Abbott had to promise the PPL scheme in order to get elected and so it’s OK” but then realised the hypocrisy of my thoughts. But then, for Labor and the unions to campaign against an increased worker entitlement is also hypocritical.
    The mentality of most of we voters must tax the keenest of minds.

  43. mundi

    So a mother with a high paying job will be paid substantially more than a mother on minimum wage, even though they will both be at home doing the same thing – looking after a baby.

    So why does the richer mother get more money? Because she has a more expensive lifestyle to maintain?

    Our welfare state has reach a new level of absutdity. What next? Dole payments based on your salary before you were made redudant?

  44. mundi

    Can you imagine a women on $150k giving birth to twins around 31st dec 2014 under this new PPL scheme of abbotts?

    If they are born the day before it starts she will get $20k taxed, maybe $11k after tax. If they are born the next day – she will get $150k taxed, probaly over $100k after tax. A DIFFERENCE OF $90,000!!!!!

    Will there have ever been such a step jump in history of the welfare system? Can you imagine the anxity and crazyness that will ensure to try and get the babies to stay in a bit longer?

    This thing needs to be ramped in very slow from minimum wage up over at least a decade.

  45. What Mr Leyonhjelm said.

    Perhaps the unannounced feature of Abbottcare is to replace a raft of existing welfare?

  46. Infidel Tiger

    Can you imagine a women on $150k giving birth to twins around 31st dec 2014 under this new PPL scheme of abbotts?

    If they are born the day before it starts she will get $20k taxed, maybe $11k after tax. If they are born the next day – she will get $150k taxed, probaly over $100k after tax. A DIFFERENCE OF $90,000!!!!!

    A smart women could have IVF and get sextuplets paid for on the taxpayer teat and then retire.

  47. twostix

    Can you imagine a women on $150k giving birth to twins around 31st dec 2014 under this new PPL scheme of abbotts?

    Tens of thousands for popping a kid out, a $7500 cheque per child per year for daycare for other people to raise the kid, FTB Part B, etc.

    Meanwhile the lowly stay at home mum gets nothing. Sorry she does get something, she gets told she and her child are undesirable to the state.

    Modern “working mothers” are the biggest dole bludgers in the history of the world. Bar none.

  48. Rabz

    Can you imagine the anxiety and craziness that will ensure to try and get the babies to stay in a bit longer?

    Mundi, the same thing happened when that bloody baby bonus was introduced. There was a noticeable spike in births from the day it was introduced.

  49. dianeh

    Mundi,

    This is being marketed as a workplace entitlement, therefore it should be based on wages as is correct for entitlements. After all, you are paid at your rate of pay when on leave. It would of course be fairer to pay everyone the same when on holidays, after all they are not a work. Now if it were marketed as welfare, then everyone should be paid the same.

    Personally I think the PPL is a load of old bollocks (as someone said further up the thread). The overriding of existing PPL’s is aimed at the Public Service I believe, where the PPL is even more generous than this one proposed by Abbott.

    Why do we need something so expensive, when what could be used is something simple such as deferred income and income splitting, or special tax rates?

  50. Aristogeiton

    mundi
    #1162423, posted on January 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    So a mother with a high paying job will be paid substantially more than a mother on minimum wage, even though they will both be at home doing the same thing – looking after a baby.

    So why does the richer mother get more money? Because she has a more expensive lifestyle to maintain?

    This policy is a disgrace, however, I find this post pretty offensive. The first sentence indicates both that the goal is producing babies at the lowest marginal cost, and that the mother does so in the employ of the State. The final paragraph is dripping with the kind of class envy that the politics of entitlement encourages. Get rid of all entitlements and we won’t have people asking the question ‘why does he/she get more than me’: they’ll already know the answer.

  51. twostix

    The first sentence indicates both that the goal is producing babies at the lowest marginal cost, and that the mother does so in the employ of the State.

    If you’ll only have a baby if the state pays you to then pretty much by definition you’re in the employ of the state.

  52. Petros

    Mundi in some European countries the amount of dole payments is a percentage of one’s previous wage.

  53. mizaris

    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    And how many of them will then stay home and look after their children instead of farming them out to the state for daily care? And how many positions will open up to young un/under employed men and older women who would be just as valuable as employees??

  54. Fisky

    I am delighted with Abbottcare and hope the program lasts forever. What a fantastic job he is doing!

  55. .

    mizaris
    #1162533, posted on January 22, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    And how many of them will then stay home and look after their children instead of farming them out to the state for daily care? And how many positions will open up to young un/under employed men and older women who would be just as valuable as employees??

    This is the lump of labour fallacy, even if you are justifying it with a semi-qualified argument.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy

  56. Monkey's Uncle

    So why does the richer mother get more money? Because she has a more expensive lifestyle to maintain?

    Our welfare state has reach a new level of absutdity. What next? Dole payments based on your salary before you were made redudant?

    Well that is how things essentially work in many countries that have more contributory-based social security or social insurance schemes. Those on high incomes will pay more in payroll taxes into the system. But if you lose your job you will get more in unemployment insurance than a low income earner who contributed less, and if you retire you will get a larger pension etc. This is the idea behind insuring people’s lifestyle and income against significant misfortune and risk, rather than simply providing a safety net for the absolutely destitute.

    The problem with this scheme is twofold. It cannot really be defended on the grounds that it is a quasi-insurance contribution based scheme, as there is little relationship between the contributions and benefits. The largest companies will pay the cost regardless of their payrolls and how many employees benefit, while many smaller companies will pay nothing even though they may have employees who will benefit. The other problem is that once people start expecting the government to significantly replace their incomes during various stages of life, it is a step down the road towards the kind of big government, Western European welfare statism and social engineering that is already sinking much of that continent.

    Some will argue that high income earners already pay more tax and so they may just be getting some of their money back. But that ignores other high income and taxpaying individuals who will end up having to fund this in addition to paying to support those at the lower end of the spectrum.

  57. mizaris

    Tony Abbott is going to need Greens support to get this through the Senate. I and at least two other minor party senators will never support it, and I suspect a few Liberal senators will suddenly have pressing engagements on the day of the vote. It’s about as popular as a fart in a lift with some of his party.

    Liking this man more and more!!!

  58. mizaris

    This is the lump of labour fallacy, even if you are justifying it with a semi-qualified argument.

    er…..you did not see the ????????? Or you don’t do sarcasm??

  59. rickw

    The Liberals are clueless, and only slightly less so than Labor.

  60. twostix

    Some will argue that high income earners already pay more tax and so they may just be getting some of their money back. But that ignores other high income and taxpaying individuals who will end up having to fund this in addition to paying to support those at the lower end of the spectrum.

    Exactly.

    People like us. But hey, you’re welcome Welfare Queens, we recognise the need to have welfare programs for the mendicant right across society, from the lowliest bogan to the highest arts major.

  61. mundi

    Yes, monkey’s Uncle, that was the real point I was trying to make. Individuals will be paying more welfare to well-off mums over less well-off mums, on the bizarre claim that this will help the well-off mums return to their high paying jobs…. to what end? Eventually giving welfare back to the individual? hhahahah… yeah right.

    The idea that PPL is a workplace entitlement is utterly ridiculous. Everyone admits that the companies must *not* be the ones who pay for it. If a women averages 30 years in workforce, and 2 children each, then the only fair thing to do is take 3% of every womens pay check (or 1.5 of everyone in australia’s pay check) and use it for the PPL. Then it would be an entitlement, since we paid for it.

  62. john of bicheno

    I phoned my local senator, Mr Abbetz to express my opinion as to why I did not feel I should be paying via my taxes for a woman to maintain her full salary for 26 weeks after having a baby .The female staffer who answered the phone was quite indignant that I did not support her view that she was ENTITLED to be paid her full wage for 26 weeks as she was sacrificing her carer to have the child.

  63. Andrew

    Leave PPL alone! It is going to help Women of Calibre re-produce more :-)

  64. .

    ??????

    I didn’t know that was sarcasm.

  65. .

    Andrew

    I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not.

    This will allow a whole class of public servants to entrench themselves on the public teat.

  66. Andrew

    Andrew

    I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not.

    This will allow a whole class of public servants to entrench themselves on the public teat.

    I thought it was blatantly obvious that I was being sarcastic.

  67. Infidel Tiger

    What a great country. The taxpayer cops the bill for women to have abortions and have babies.

    Your body, your choice, my arse.

  68. crocodile

    Howard raised buying elections to an art form. At least he did it out of cashflow.

    Maybe so, but hard to wind back when the money tap runs dry. Can’t really think of any good excuse for unnecessary welfare, flushed with money or not.

  69. twostix

    The female staffer who answered the phone was quite indignant that I did not support her view that she was ENTITLED to be paid her full wage for 26 weeks as she was sacrificing her carer to have the child.

    Like I said: the biggest group of welfare bums in Australia’s history.

  70. Chris

    Personally I think the PPL is a load of old bollocks (as someone said further up the thread). The overriding of existing PPL’s is aimed at the Public Service I believe, where the PPL is even more generous than this one proposed by Abbott.

    The public service PPL schemes are significantly LESS generous (14 weeks) than Abbott’s proposed scheme (26 weeks). It’s pretty common for large private companies to offer around 12 weeks to higher skilled workers (say those with degrees).

    How many women will lose their jobs, in fact, be looked over, and never be employed because of this?

    Why would employers discriminate against women because of the Abbott scheme? Employers will have to pay the 1.5% levy whether they employ no women or only employ women. They won’t be paying the PPL directly so it makes no difference to them financially. Unpaid parental leave is already a workplace right and that’s not changing so they still have the cost of temporarily replacing an employee when they go on parental leave.

    I don’t agree with Abbott’s proposal to remove existing PPL schemes, but some employers may see it as a convenient excuse to reduce costs. And compared to the employer only PPL scheme most employees would be much better off. As has been mentioned employers could still give bonuses, though it would perhaps be difficult to give them only to women who have just given birth.

    If they are born the day before it starts she will get $20k taxed, maybe $11k after tax. If they are born the next day – she will get $150k taxed, probaly over $100k after tax. A DIFFERENCE OF $90,000!!!!!

    There is a big difference, but its not that big. You don’t get two lots of PPL just because you have twins, nor do you get 3 lots if you have triplets. You just get your normal salary for 6 months regardless of how many babies popped out.

  71. crocodile

    Not every election, Bear. Howard went to the electorate in 1998 promising ‘a great big new tax’ – and he was re-elected.

    He also reduced marginal income tax rates to compensate. He also had a thumping majority.

  72. Rabz

    Croc, I was citing the leftist line at the time.

  73. Infidel Tiger

    Public servants should be banned from having children. It’s off putting for the general public to even think they are trying to.

  74. JC

    Non essential workers, IT. You wouldn’t begrudge enlisted fellas the right of course,

  75. pete m

    Awesome policy. Small business can hire women and not be afraid of the cost of maternity leave because big business and govt will pay for it. Should improve employment amongst women of child bearing age in most employers, and big business does not have a choice but to employ women, so winning all round.

    Shield on!

  76. rebel with cause

    The female staffer who answered the phone was quite indignant that I did not support her view that she was ENTITLED to be paid her full wage for 26 weeks as she was sacrificing her career to have the child.

    Most women willingly sacrifice their career to have a child. Just look at the stats on the number that either return to the workforce part time, or don’t return at all after having kids. This is an absurd policy to encourage potential mothers who are the least willing to make sacrifices to have kids, to have kids. Why?!?

  77. Des Deskperson

    Regarding current parental leave entitlements for Commonwealth (APS) employees:

    S. 6(3) of the M Subject to subsections (4), (4C) and (4F), an employee who has been confined and who has been absent from duty for a period or periods in accordance with this section is entitled to pay:

    (a) in a case where the period of absence, or the sum of the periods of absence, exceeds 12 weeks—for the first 12 weeks of that absence; and

    entitlements p

  78. crocodile

    Croc, I was citing the leftist line at the time.

    Fair enough. Still, he had a sizeable majority at the time and ran with it. Fair play. Not really welfare though.

  79. Baldrick

    Infidel Tiger
    #1162580, posted on January 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Your body, your choice, my arse.

    At last, something people can put their teeth into!

  80. Des Deskperson

    Sorry, posted too early by mistake. What I meant to say was:

    (a) s 6(3) of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 provides 12 weeks paid maternity leave to Commonwealth (APS) employees, and

    (b) most agency level enterprise agreements add an additional four weeks, bringing the total entitlement to 16 weeks paid leave.

    Apologies

  81. rebel with cause

    Chris – you say this:

    … Abbott’s proposed scheme (26 weeks). It’s pretty common for large private companies to offer around 12 weeks to higher skilled workers (say those with degrees).

    Followed by this:

    Why would employers discriminate against women because of the Abbott scheme? … Unpaid parental leave is already a workplace right and that’s not changing so they still have the cost of temporarily replacing an employee when they go on parental leave.

    Mmm. You don’t think paying for a replacement staffer for 26 weeks instead of 12 just might get factored into the equation somewhere? Why would employers discriminate indeed.

  82. Aristogeiton

    Infidel Tiger
    #1162580, posted on January 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    What a great country. The taxpayer cops the bill for women to have abortions and have babies.

    Your body, your choice, my arse taxes (FTFY).

  83. twostix

    Should improve employment amongst women of child bearing age in most employers,

    The top candidate on a list of candidates is the one that can dash away for six months then force you to take them back if they choose to grace the business with their presence for a little while again.

  84. steve

    The top candidate on a list of candidates is the one that can dash away for six months then force you to take them back if they choose to grace the business with their presence for a little while again.
    Allow me to place my business on hold while you trot off and drop a spud

  85. jack

    the new maternity scheme is a last gasp attempt to get demographics back under control.

    the leftie model is to abort the australia they hate into below replacement birthrates.and to use mass migration to import an intergenerational underclass to vote for the welfare state.

    raising birthrates so that families have two or three kids also removes the appalling leftie spoiled single child private school brats. have kids learn competition from the cradle,only way to go.

  86. JimD

    Sloan goes dotty over PPL and most of you lot turn into lemmings.
    Majority of the post is not Sloans’ work anyway. The “DAFT” bint’s picked up and run with another “DAFT” bints’ unsubstantiated tripe and if “DAFT” bint No3 in the form of Ged Kearney perceives a potential depreciation of Union interference in workplace negotiations that ought be sufficient for any sensible person to support the supposed intended broad scale changes to PPL throughout the entire workplace.

  87. Aristogeiton

    JimD
    #1162724, posted on January 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm
    Sloan goes dotty over PPL and most of you lot turn into lemmings.
    Majority of the post is not Sloans’ work anyway. The “DAFT” bint’s picked up and run with another “DAFT” bints’ unsubstantiated tripe and if “DAFT” bint No3 in the form of Ged Kearney perceives a potential depreciation of Union interference in workplace negotiations that ought be sufficient for any sensible person to support the supposed intended broad scale changes to PPL throughout the entire workplace.

    Agreed, but not far enough. We should also loosen the eligibility criteria for the DSP and Newstart. Barriers to entry to the job market = less employees = less union influence in the economy. That should be sufficient to get all the libertarians here to support my fucking stupid proposal.

  88. Infidel Tiger

    the new maternity scheme is a last gasp attempt to get demographics back under control

    Cut taxes to a reasonable level and I’ll root until I fill two Taragos with whippersnappers.

  89. rebel with cause

    potential depreciation of Union interference in workplace negotiations that ought be sufficient for any sensible person to support the supposed intended broad scale changes to PPL throughout the entire workplace.

    The only DAFT bint here is you. Trying to buy employees off with generous welfare entitlements has got to be the dumbest way to cut union influence that I’ve ever heard of.

  90. Aristogeiton

    Infidel Tiger
    #1162748, posted on January 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm
    the new maternity scheme is a last gasp attempt to get demographics back under control

    Cut taxes to a reasonable level and I’ll root until I fill two Taragos with whippersnappers.

    You’d have to stop rooting long enough to notice.

  91. Johno

    The Liberal Party is no longer liberal. The Liberal Democrats are the best party for liberals to support.

  92. Piett

    David Leyonhjelm,

    Politics is the art of compromise. On this issue, you won’t get anywhere by standing on principle. LNP party discipline is very tight at the moment. Any LNP senator who is not in the red hall voting yes, will find that their next ministerial appointment will be Minister for the Australian Antarctic Territory, with an office on site.

    Ask yourself what the Australian Democrats would have done. (Yes, seriously.) They’d have bargained. I’d suggest telling the LNP that they’ll get your vote if:

    (a) there’s a (reasonably short) sunset clause built into the legislation, so it doesn’t become a permanent entitlement; and

    (b) there’s a PC review at sunset time (to give plausible cover to the government to wind it back or scrap it).

  93. Dan

    Des Desky,

    (a) s 6(3) of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 provides 12 weeks paid maternity leave to Commonwealth (APS) employees, and

    (b) most agency level enterprise agreements add an additional four weeks, bringing the total entitlement to 16 weeks paid leave.

    Apologies

    Is that at full pay?

  94. Infidel Tiger

    Ask yourself what the Australian Democrats would have done. (Yes, seriously.) They’d have bargained. I’d suggest telling the LNP that they’ll get your vote if:

    Where are the Democrats these days?

  95. Piett

    Where are the Democrats these days?

    They shifted radically to the left under Natasha S-D, abandoned the pragmatic negotiating stance they used to hold, in favour of standing on ‘principle’ to please a noisy minority of their base — and promptly collapsed. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. :)

  96. .

    Any LNP senator who is not in the red hall voting yes, will find that their next ministerial appointment will be Minister for the Australian Antarctic Territory, with an office on site.

    First of all I don’t know why you are encouraging our Senator elect to vote for such an outrageously socialistic policy.

    Secondly, plenty of sitting PMs have been rolled by their party. The hit list Credlin is making is of no consequence if Abbott gets stabbed on the ides of March.

  97. Piett

    First of all I don’t know why you are encouraging our Senator elect to vote for such an outrageously socialistic policy.

    Because modifying a socialist policy to make it less bad, and then gritting your teeth and voting for it, is better than having a perfect, pure libertarian/classical liberal policy that has 0% implementation by the end of David’s term.

    Secondly, plenty of sitting PMs have been rolled by their party. The hit list Credlin is making is of no consequence if Abbott gets stabbed on the ides of March.

    Oh, no. Abbott is riding high on the election outcome, and will be for all of 2014, at the very least. The boat people success is icing on the cake. He’s like Napoleon in 1806, untouchable.

  98. Aristogeiton

    Piett
    #1162879, posted on January 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm
    [...]
    Because modifying a socialist policy to make it less bad, and then gritting your teeth and voting for it, is better than having a perfect, pure libertarian/classical liberal policy that has 0% implementation by the end of David’s term.

    How is making an expensive boondoggle more expensive ‘less bad’?

  99. Aristogeiton

    Also, it is supported by a discriminatory tax regime which actively encourages corporate fragmentation. Awesome!

  100. .

    Piett – you are assuming that the Liberal and Nationals Senators must vote for this and with Day and Lleyonhjelm they can’t stop it, and that they fear retaliation over principle – and that Abbott can use a previous election result as a bargaining chip within his own party.

  101. Piett

    Aristo,

    How is making an expensive boondoggle more expensive ‘less bad’?

    Make it less bad by, as I suggested above, putting a time limit on it. Or even maybe working with the Greens to try and negotiate a lower $ limit with the government. (I despise the Greens and the thought of LDP siding with them on any issue is repellent. But still if better policy might result, it should be considered.)

  102. Aristogeiton

    Piett
    #1162892, posted on January 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    Aristo,

    How is making an expensive boondoggle more expensive ‘less bad’?

    Make it less bad by, as I suggested above, putting a time limit on it. Or even maybe working with the Greens to try and negotiate a lower $ limit with the government. (I despise the Greens and the thought of LDP siding with them on any issue is repellent. But still if better policy might result, it should be considered.)

    Negotiate with the Greens to negotiate less government spending on this crap than currently occurs? You’re dreaming. The policy is pointless, involves significant government expenditure and has a negative effect on industry.

  103. .

    Piett,

    Turnbull stuck by his guns and had the first ETS Rudd tried to get put up turned into ashes.

    He got rolled even after this.

  104. Piett

    Negotiate with the Greens to negotiate less government spending on this crap than currently occurs? You’re dreaming.

    The Greens want a lower $ cap on the maximum level of benefit. But they still support the concept in general — very strongly. So if ALP vote against, and enough independents vote against, the Greens might vote for PPL as it stands to get it through.

    Alternatively, Greens + LDP could negotiate with government to get a less expensive version through. That’s what I’m suggesting.

    The policy is pointless, involves significant government expenditure and has a negative effect on industry.

    Yes. But we’re going to get it one way or the other, so we might as well go for a less-worse version.

  105. Piett

    Turnbull stuck by his guns and had the first ETS Rudd tried to get put up turned into ashes.

    He got rolled even after this.

    Only after the disaster with that Grech character.

    Also, a lot of Libs suspected (rightly) that Turnbull was being a hypocrite on ETS — he’s probably more of a warmenista than Rudd ever was. Turnbull was on thin ice all the time, with only a minority of LNP sharing his somewhat greenie views, and a strong contender (Abbott) in the wings waiting to pounce on any mistake.

  106. Piett

    Essentially, Abbott is in a million times better position than Turnbull ever was. Due to his conservatism (both in strategy and policy) and his discipline, I think he will be in it for the very long haul, just like John Howard.

  107. Aristogeiton

    Piett
    #1162909, posted on January 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm
    [...]
    Alternatively, Greens + LDP could negotiate with government to get a less expensive version through. That’s what I’m suggesting.

    Whatever is presently being spent, if the replacement policy is less, the Greens will not vote for it. They want to say ‘the Greens secured $xxxm from the nasty Coalition Government for working mothers’. Greens will never vote for the reduction of actual government expenditure, except on defence. Money has to be re-routed to another boondoggle, or the cost of an existing program must increase.

  108. Andrew

    Piett – you are assuming that the Liberal and Nationals Senators must vote for this and with Day and Lleyonhjelm they can’t stop it, and that they fear retaliation over principle – and that Abbott can use a previous election result as a bargaining chip within his own party.

    The Nationals have already said they are against the PPL and will likely vote against it. I have spoken to many Liberal MPs who are strongly against it. It will be very hard to get through and Abbott’s election victory will be a distant memory in respect to a policy like this.

  109. JohnA

    Copy of my comments to Christopher Pyne (in charge of reducing red and green tape):

    I have received notice of this move via one of my Victorian Senators Michael Ronaldson, as follows:

    “The Leader of the House, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, have announced the Government’s first repeal day will be an important step toward the Coalitions’ commitment of cutting $1 billion in red and green tape each year to benefit business and not-for-profit organisations.”

    I welcome this move, but want to warn the Government that the latest news on the Paid Parental Leave Scheme policy clearly contradicts the above.

    I understand that the PPL Scheme is meant to bring private industry into line with existing provisions in the APS. Regardless of the arguments for supposed equity, I consider it an expensive and unaffordable measure in these times, and urge the government to drop it completely.

    But there is a report at Catallaxy Files (http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/01/22/a-workplace-entitlement-give-me-a-break/) to the effect that once the government’s scheme is in place, all other schemes will be banned – making it another compulsory scheme adding costs to business, rather than a freely-negotiable employment benefit.

    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES could such a scheme be considered an entitlement as the leaked briefings make out.

    Please bring all your endeavuors to bear to stop this contradictory policy from being implemented.

    In the words of Sir Humphrey Appleby it could be a “very courageous” move, costing this government the next election

    Your sincerely

    And I have just seen my first typo :-(

    I will correct that, and send a similar note to the office of the PM.

  110. 2dogs

    Greens + LDP could negotiate with government to get a less expensive version through.

    The PPL is on the nose with the Libs rank and file.

    It will be presented to the senate in line with the election promise, but, once it invariably dies there, no alternative will be presented. There will be a collective shrugging of shoulders and mutterings of “we did our best” regarding the election promise, but never thereafter will it be mentioned again.

  111. Aliice

    You know what? I will play the devils advocate here. What point whinging about reshuffling between middle class mums taking a well earned break to raise their kids and the deserving poor, when a whole lot of rich pricks are using bitcoin to transact their profits out of Australia and pay no tax at all

    Come on cats. Open your eyes. Very soon there will be few taxpayers left to argue over the crumbs that are left to pay welfare. Whilst we all cry – there isnt enuff and stick our fingers from this hole in the dam wall to another crack in the dam wall – god knows there is a bloody river flowing offshore to the back market and tax havens

    Oh oops lest I state the bleeding obvious.

  112. Chris

    rebel with a cause said:

    Mmm. You don’t think paying for a replacement staffer for 26 weeks instead of 12 just might get factored into the equation somewhere? Why would employers discriminate indeed.

    The employer still needs to pay for a replacement staffer for up to 52 weeks whether there is paid parental leave or not as a year of parental leave (paid or unpaid or combination of the two is a workplace entitlement). The majority of new mothers (probably vast majority) take at least 26 weeks of work and many 52 weeks. Those that do come back often work part time for a longer period of time so some form of replacement is needed for a while anyway. So the paid part of paid parental leave introduced by Abbott doesn’t actually increase the disincentive to hire women and in fact is the main reason the funding for it is arranged the way it is. If they instead introduced a workplace entitlement that required employers to directly pay the PPL for their own employees then there would be a strong incentive not to hire young women.

  113. JohnA

    rebel with cause #1162641, posted on January 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    The female staffer who answered the phone was quite indignant that I did not support her view that she was ENTITLED to be paid her full wage for 26 weeks as she was sacrificing her career to have the child.

    Most women willingly sacrifice their career to have a child. Just look at the stats on the number that either return to the workforce part time, or don’t return at all after having kids. This is an absurd policy to encourage potential mothers who are the least willing to make sacrifices to have kids, to have kids. Why?!?

    Incensed staffer doesn’t understand that she is supposed to be SHIFTING CAREERS from paid employment to raising the next generation of Australia’s leaders.

    She does not require a massive subsidy to make the transition, but she does require a brain transfusion to introduce some common sense, clear thinking and logical acuity.

  114. JohnA

    Piett:

    Alternatively, Greens + LDP could negotiate with government to get a less expensive version through. That’s what I’m suggesting.

    The policy is pointless, involves significant government expenditure and has a negative effect on industry.

    Yes. But we’re going to get it one way or the other, so we might as well go for a less-worse version.

    That’s the worst kind of compromise possible. There is no “less-worse version” – it remains pointless, expensive and a drag on business. Thus it will delay the recovery of government revenue, cost a bomb in the meantime, and could cost the silly government the next election.

  115. twostix

    Sloan goes dotty over PPL and most of you lot turn into lemmings.

    It’s not like there’s been consistant panning and mocking of Abbotts PPL since the day he announced it.

  116. Tel

    Yes. But we’re going to get it one way or the other, so we might as well go for a less-worse version.

    In terms of LDP strategy that’s completly wrong. Anyone who votes for it, ends up owning it, forever. That’s the rule. Don’t vote for it, you can always say, “I thought that was a bad idea from day one, and whatever happens isn’t my issue.”

  117. Tel

    The PPL is on the nose with the Libs rank and file.

    And that’s the best place to find future LDP voters, they want an alternative, so give em an alternative!

  118. Aliice

    Chris

    The majority of new mothers (probably vast majority) take at least 26 weeks of work and many 52 weeks.

    And so they damn well should take a year off to raise a child. If the govt had eenough taxes they could pay it but everyone is using bitcoin who wants to avoid taxes. Otherwise let employers foot the bill.
    Mothers are trying to produce enough workers to pay the generous entitlements of the aged.

    Quit your whinging and keep the mothers in their job and let them do the right thing and raise kids at least for a year.

  119. I agree with 2Dogs, AbbottCare won’t get up, the LDP victorious, the New Communists upset, Electricity Bill continues irrelevant, lots of breathless ALPBC reporteresses indignant with announcements at the UN and OECD.
    Working Australian however will continue with their lives, saving up for their holidays and babies, happy that their daughters will be able to get good jobs.

  120. candy

    Essentially, Abbott is in a million times better position than Turnbull ever was. Due to his conservatism (both in strategy and policy) and his discipline, I think he will be in it for the very long haul, just like John Howard.

    I think so too, Piett, but gee it’s going to be a rough time for a year or so. The mining downturn, unemployment up, welfare needing to be rationalised (being hated by half Australia) all kinds of problems.

  121. wreckage

    I don’t necessarily mind a PPL of some sort, but outlawing private arrangements is utterly unacceptable and needs to be set on fire, staked through the heart, and its ashes buried under a crossroads at midnight.

  122. wreckage

    It’s also a perfect point of attack for the LDP.

  123. Monkey's Uncle

    So Alice, the taxation base is declining, ergo we should not worry about expensive new government entitlements? You’re a damn genius.

  124. coz

    onya Judith, this is just the usual Tory transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.

  125. coz

    The ‘liberal’ party obviously embraces the dated notion that the electorate are just dumb human cattle, too ignorant to do anything other than ‘moo’ at NWO dominionists feverishly trying to bring their phony paradise on earth into being.

    At what point will these goons acknowledge that they are the servants, not the masters?

  126. rebel with cause

    Chris – the unpaid leave entitlement goes on top of the paid leave entitlement. They are not taken concurrently. So Abbott is effectively extending the time a pregnant woman can ask for her job to be held open for her to 18 months.

  127. sabrina

    It is a vote winner. If the LNP do not drop it in 2014, they will not drop it before the next election.

    Unless the conscientious members in the LNP (surely there are several DavidL type) , this idiotic scheme will stay. Please keep on writing against this policy Judith.

  128. Chris

    Chris – the unpaid leave entitlement goes on top of the paid leave entitlement. They are not taken concurrently. So Abbott is effectively extending the time a pregnant woman can ask for her job to be held open for her to 18 months.

    Have you got a link to where that is stated? I didn’t think it worked that way. Certainly private PPL schemes don’t have that effect.

    Aliice – I wasn’t complaining, just explaining what already happens now. I’ve no problems with a year of unpaid PPL but it is unfortunately a cause of discrimination against women. And having to go through a legal process at the same time as having a baby is certainly suboptimal.

  129. Dave Wane

    Hopefully the crazy PPL will never make it through the Senate. And if that is the case, it will be consigned to the dustbin of history, where it should stay – never to be mentioned again.

  130. Percy

    Hopefully the crazy PPL will never make it through the Senate

    If it does, it will only be because the Greens back it, and then only if it is cut back in size and cost. Anyone else see the irony in that?

  131. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Judith is right. This scheme will interfere with already existing set-ups in some companies who use a generous scheme in order to keep their own female high flyers. I have a friend in the early stages of pregnancy who is hoping to get in ‘under the wire’ before the introduction of Abbott’s new scheme, as she will be considerably worse off if Abbott’s scheme is applied to her. She earns a heap in a major management consultancy and her Company are happy to pay more than Abbott is to keep her employed with them.

  132. rebel with cause

    Chris – yes you can find the info here:

    All employees in Australia are eligible for unpaid parental leave if they have completed at least 12 months of continuous service with their employer.

    Each eligible member of an employee couple may take a separate period of up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave.

    Although now it does occur to me that whether it goes to 18 months depends on how it operates. If the employer does not pay the 26 weeks paid leave entitlement, but instead it comes from the government then perhaps it will not extend the time – the employee can take up to 12 months unpaid leave, of which the government will then pay them six months at their full wage as a welfare payment. Alternatively, if the employer continues to pay them directly for the 26 weeks but gets reimbursed by the government, then as far as I can tell they are still entitled to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave. I can’t find enough information to say how the proposed scheme will work though.

  133. LABCR-TV

    3 thoughts:

    1. Could this be a baby bonus in disguise?
    2. Whatever happened to the budget emergency?
    3. “If this is not bad enough, it seems that the Abbott government is now intent on introducing a liberty-sapping initiative by outlawing all private PPLs and making the new gold-plated taxpayer funded scheme the only lawful one.”
    Shades of Obumakare. Jeez, if Abbott is going to copy that freak’s policies then we are all in trouble.

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