Described by the trade union movement as a victory after 30 years of campaigning, Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme becomes effective as of 1st of January 2011. The PPL will be offering 18 weeks of government funded paid leave to families who qualify for the scheme. Parents who have children or adopt after on or after 1st of January 2010 will be eligible provided they meet the criteria.
This support should assist families to cover some of the financial expenses associated with having a baby. This is a great step forward because psychologically financial issues can increase stress within the family, and is a big contributing factor for some divorces. Having extra support should ease some of the stress, and help you get setup with what you need for your family.
This scheme should aid in preserving a relationship between having a family and having the option of having your career put on standby, giving confidence to balance the two. This also allows business to adapt a family friendly place of employment, allowing them to retain skilled staff with the option to return after their leave has been completed. This saves a lot of money and resources in recruiting a new person and then training them for the position, as opposed to having a set timeline of say 18 weeks of when staff on leave will be returning.
In theory this all seems like a win-win situation for both families and business, but there is always a grey area, so it is important to read the fine print giving you a good understand of your rights, and options available to you regarding employers approving such leave. Families whose income exceeds $150,000 a year will not be eligible.
Those interested in applying for the PPL should be aware that you must have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) for 10 of the 13 months before your new baby arrives. The PPL will provide eligible working parents with 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay at the National Minimum Wage, currently $570 a week before tax. It is estimated that 150,000 families are expected to qualify for the scheme that also requires employers to top it up with any program they already have in place.
For more information, you can visit the following link: http://www.familyassist.gov.au/payments/family-assistance-payments/paid-parental-leave-scheme