Paid Parental Leave: Turnbull Government Shelves Proposed Changes

paid parental leave

The government’s proposed changes to the paid parental leave or PPL will not be passed during this term of Parliament as confirmed by the federal authorities.

In 2015, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government proposed plans to prevent parents with newborn children from so-called “double dipping” by getting their leave claims from both the government as well as their employers. The proposed changes were scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2016, but Social Services Minister Christian Porter confirmed that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government has shelved the matter for the present parliamentary term.

“The reality is that the legislative change that we wish to make to that arrangement is not going to be successful in this term of Parliament,” he told the ABC. “I think that much is absolutely clear to me and to the members of the Government. “So people who are pregnant or planning to become, the status quo is clearly going to be maintained for a period of time.”

At present, the government allows a pregnant or new parent employee a paid parental leave of 18 weeks with a rate worth $657 per week. This is accountable irrespective of the number of weeks available as PPL for the employee. The new proposal from the Turnbull government will make sure a pregnant employee gets an 18-week leave from employers with minimal intervention from the government in this regard.

According to a research published by the ABC in January, if Turnbull government’s proposal will come into effect, it will prompt new mothers to lose almost $11,800 if they take the PPL. Porter, however, confirmed that the government is committed to implementing the changes soon. “However that does not mean that this government at the moment is not trying to change (the current scheme) or if it were re-elected wouldn’t also be looking at ways in which to modify the existing system along the lines that we have suggested because there is a real equity issue here,” he said as quoted by

“It is a generous system to people who are at the lower end of the income earning spectrum, as it should be. But the additional problem that arises is for the top 20 percent or so of higher income earners it is inequitably generous because you can have the 18 weeks at minimum wage but also be able to access your own, which is often very generous, employer-based PPL.”

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