Tag Archives: maternity leave

Breaking: Key changes to family tax benefits and childcare assistance

A key Federal Government report, known as the Commission of Audit, has recommended major changes to Family Tax Benefit and childcare assistance today.

Key changes include:

  • Abolition of Family Tax Benefit B – the payment that goes mainly to single income families
  • Tighten eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A, removing the base rate for higher income families
  • Lower the Paid Parental Leave scheme wage replacement cap to $57,460
  • Scrap the child care rebate and child care benefit and replace them with a single, means-tested payment

What does it mean?  Basically it means more means testing so higher income families will lose things like the child care rebate.

Family Tax Benefit B provides up to $3,018.55 for some families who meet certain conditions, so I wonder how this will affect those families?

There are also a number of other areas of cuts recommended which will affect working families, including the aged pension, Medicare benefits, hospitals, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, National Disability Insurance Scheme, carers’ payments, aged care, the Disability Support Pension, and school funding.  Read more here.

The real impact will be known when we understand whether the government intends to act on these recommendations and what levels the new payments and new income cut offs will be

Currently child care rebate is available to all families regardless of income and some form of childcare benefit is available to families whose income is up to $170,404 (for three children) plus $32,219 for each child after the third

The Federal Budget will be released on Tuesday May 13.

Watch this space.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/commission-of-audit-major-recommendations-20140501-zr2jc.html#ixzz30R8vhHuq

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Dad and partner pay – will your family benefit?

Today the Australian Government announced applications are now open for Dad and Partner Pay.

Never heard of it?  Well, it’s an extension of the Paid Parental Leave scheme and means government support for dads and partners to get two weeks paid leave at the rate of the national minimum wage (currently about $606 per week before tax), if you have a baby or adopt after 1 January, 2013.

You could be eligible if you work full-time, part-time, casually, seasonally, on contract, or if you’re self-employed.

Here’s the fine print. You may be eligible if:

  • You are the biological dad, adopting parent or partner of the birth mother or adopting parent and;
  • You are an Australian resident who has worked for at least 10 of the 13 months before the date your Dad and Partner Pay period starts, and;
  • Your individual adjusted taxable income is $150 000 or less in the financial year either before the date of your claim.

Dads can be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay even if their partner is not receiving Paid Parental Leave and you can read all of the details here.

The Australian Government hopes this will support families in the first year of a chld’s life, and encourage more dads to take time off to spend with their kids.  Excellent stuff.

They say that the move is a particularly big win for self-employed people, contractors, casual workers and others who generally don’t have paternity leave entitlements from their employer.

You’re still likely to be better off with your employer’s parental leave scheme, if you’re lucky enough to be work for someone that has one.  But for everyone else, this is a good start.

I wonder how many dads will take it?  I suspect lots of dads would prefer to spend more time with their kids when they’re first born, but feel lots of pressure to continue providing for the family, especially when mum is recovering from childbirth. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier.

If you’re  already registered with the Department of  Human Services for online services, you can logon and apply from there, or you can register here.   You can apply in person at Centrelink or Medicare offices or call 136 150.

Kirsten

Working mums think dads get a raw deal

According to a survey of 365 working parents in the UK, almost two thirds of working mums think men are discriminated against with regard to flexible working arrangements.

According to a Workingmums.co.uk survey for International Women’s Day,  65% felt men were not given a fair hearing over flexible working.

The survey also found that;

  • 43% felt they did over 75% of the domestic chores and childcare.
  • Around 40% of working mums had taken a step back in their career since having children.
  • Only 29% had progressed in their career.
  • The rest had stayed at the same level

Women were concerned about the lack of flexible new jobs. A third felt trapped in the job they went on maternity leave from because they could not find a new job which gave them the work life balance they needed. A massive 89% had considered working for themselves to get a better work life balance, although 43% said they couldn’t afford to.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the union movement is currently conducting an independent inquiry into insecure work in Australia.

The inquiry website tells us that;

The last two decades in Australia has seen a dramatic decline in permanent work, and corresponding growth of insecure forms of employment, such as casual, contract work and labour hire.

The full extend and impact of this shift on workers, their families and the Australian community has never been formally investigated.

The inquiry will report its findings to the Australian Council of Trade Unions Congress in 2012, along with recommendations on measures that can be taken to address any problems that are identified.

Do you think dads miss out due to inflexible working arrangements?

Has having children affected your career?

What would you like to see the inquiry recommend?

You can read submissions to the inquiry and see what others are suggesting here.

Great Australian based website Careermums has great information on how to have the ‘flexibility conversation’ with a new employer here.