The Federal budget released last night introduces changes to Paid Parental Leave to prevent “double dipping” of employees with access to both employer and government funded PPL. But all is not lost, this is how employers AND employees can continue to access both:
- Get creative. As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. So if it’s no longer financially beneficial to receive employer funded “Paid Parental Leave”, then what’s stop you restructuring the value of PPL as an alternate form of remuneration?? Come up with a plan for how the equivalent amount can be restructured, in some other form of remuneration. For example, there are no rules preventing a one off discretionary bonus payment…
- Be proactive. If you are expecting to access the employer funded PPL in the foreseeable future, you should start having conversations NOW about structuring alternatives into your remuneration. Don’t leave it til the last minute, as bureaucracy and payroll systems can take some time to massage.
- Rethink the proposition. If you’re an employer or manager who is currently offering PPL as a talent management incentive, good on you for realizing this is what a lot of women want. However, is it what all women want? Would it be more beneficial to rethink whether you could redistribute the funds into other initiatives. I don’t know, something like closing the gender pay gap in your organisation, would be a good starting point. Or increasing flexible work incentives, like offering 5-in-4 days or other on-ramping transitions.
The one thing I know for sure about working mums is that they are good at finding a solution to just about every problem, and this scenario will be no different.
Outside of the public sector where the mechanics are rigid and where full-pay PPL has been offered for decades now, I don’t expect there will be much impact felt in the immediate term.