Parental leave system burdens small business

The National Institute of Accountants (NIA) is urging the Federal Government to reconsider proposed changes to the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) system, believing it places an unwanted burden on small businesses.

The PPL is a Government funded payment to support a parent to stay at home to care for their baby full-time during the early months. Eligible parents will receive tax payable PPL payments at the minimum wage – currently $543.78 a week – for a maximum period of 18 weeks.

While the NIA supports the aim of the policy, they are concerned about the burden it will put on small business as the system requires employers to be responsible for making PPL payments where the employee has completed 12 months continuous service prior to the birth of the child.

According to NIA chief executive officer Andrew Conway, the involvement of small business in the payment process creates an unnecessary administrative burden that does not justify the stated purpose.

“It seems ironic that when we are trying to lessen the burden on small business, we propose a system which intends to increase the level of complexity that already exists,” he said.

Conway said small businesses should be given the choice to opt into the payment cycle, rather than making it compulsory.

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