Bosses blast end to paid baby leave ‘double-dip’

The West Australian on October 25, 2016:
Much of the $1 billion expected to be saved by clamping down on paid parental leave “double-dippers” will never eventuate as private employers dump their own schemes, the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry says.
WA chief executive Deidre Willmott said the Federal Government’s proposed crackdown on new mothers claiming PPL from the Government and their employer was disappointing for businesses wanting to attract good female employees and promote gender equality.
“It’s difficult to say how individual employers will respond, but what we’re seeing is a policy position that will make it harder for employers to promote gender equality in their workplaces,” Ms Willmott said.
“This is not a policy that encourages individual employers to look at their conditions of employment, so we’ll certainly see less paid parental leave by employers.
“The amount of savings is unlikely to be realised if employers indeed find that there is no benefit to retaining their separate system. More people (will) go back into the government system.”
New mothers could lose up to $12,096 in PPL payments from January 1 under the revised legislation, which would reduce or eliminate their access to the taxpayer-funded baby pay scheme, depending oq4he length of their employer-paid maternity leave.
The Nick Xenophon Team is likely to decide the Bill’s fate after Labor confirmed it would vote against it, the Greens expressed “grave concerns” and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson indicated her party would support the reforms.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter defended the changes, arguing they were designed to make paid parental leave fairer.
“We are seeking to try and rebalance, bring more people into the system and spread it more generously to low-income workers, but provide some reasonable limits based in effect around income and the generosity of a private scheme at the other end of the PPL spectrum,” Mr Porter said.