Paid Parental Leave – Employers, Are you Ready?

May 30, 2011

The deadline is fast approaching where employers will need to make the government’s parental leave payments to eligible employees.  Up until now, Centrelink has still been available to handle these payments, however from 1st July, 2011 employers must provide the parental leave payments to relevant staff.

I have been speaking with a number of employers and for those currently providing some type of paid employer parental leave, there doesn’t appear as much of a panic with just about one month to go.  It is those employers who haven’t been offering paid parental leave, who will need to make more significant changes to policy, process and systems.

Whatever the situation for the employer, there are notable responsibilities of organisations including making the parental leave payment to employees and playing a key role keeping the employee and Centrelink informed.

Making Parental Leave Payments:

The payment of this leave, may be a significant shift for new employers offering a paid leave who have never done so before.

For example, payroll systems may need to be modified in order to be able to cater for this leave, not just for permanent employees, however for contractor and casual staff who are also eligible and who may not normally have access to any leave entitlements.

It is important that employers investigate how this will be done to ensure that they will be able to meet the payments and recording capability as required by the government.

Employers Being the “Middle Man”:

Employees looking to take parental leave, will no doubt look for their employers to play a key role in informing them on how it works.  The impression from the Government as well, is that employers will need to take a lead role as well.

The eligibility of an employee still falls with the government, however having clear policies and processes will assist personnel to reduce their time handling queries and also help to ensure consistency with the information being presented to staff.

To ensure that your organisation is ready, visit the government’s paid parental leave website for additional information, also check out the workflow diagram between all paid parental leave stakeholders.

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