Whenever changes are made to the Fairwork Act 2009 and the National Employment Standards, it is advisable to review your existing induction and employment processes to ensure they comply with current legislation.
Starting 1 January 2013, eligible fathers and partners will be entitled to Dad and Partner Pay to assist them caring for a newborn or recently adopted child.
Under this new scheme, eligible working dads and partners can receive up to two (2) weeks pay to take time off work to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. Dad and Partner pay is part of recent changes to the Paid Parental Leave scheme.
Under the scheme, eligible parents who are the main carer of a newborn or newly adopted child get up to 18 weeks pay at the National Minimum Wage. The Paid Parental Leave scheme is a government-funded payment.
For a child born or adopted on or after 1 January 2013, eligible supporting partners (including adopting parents and same-sex couples) will also be entitled to 2 weeks’ pay (also at the National Minimum Wage). Dads and partners play an important role in a child’s life. This payment will help them to take time off work to support their partner and bond with their new child right from the start.
Employees can be entitled to payments under both the Paid Parental Leave scheme and an employer funded scheme. Employers should check out the Fairwork Ombudsman’s website: Paid Parental Leave for more information.
There have also been some changes to the Fair Work Act 2009, about unpaid parental leave under the National Employment Standards. These include changes to clarify:
- when pregnant employees can start their unpaid leave
- keeping in touch days during unpaid parental leave
- rules about providing pay slips
- entitlements where there is a stillbirth or infant death.
Under the changes, employers will also need to tell the employee who will be doing the job of the person that’s on unpaid parental leave (called ‘replacement employee’) that their position is temporary.
Ensure that the information in your recruitment, appointment and induction processes are up-to-date and comply with the Fairwork Act 2009 and the National Employment Standards.