How Andrew Laming voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should administer the paid parental leave scheme rather than employers

Division Andrew Laming Supporters vote Division outcome

24th May 2012, 12:03 PM – Representatives Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - Amendment to administration of payment

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The amendment to the administration of payment process within the Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012 was unsuccessful.

Someone who voted Aye supported the amendment. As there were an equal number of Aye and No votes, the Deputy Speaker had a casting vote to decide the tie. There is a principle that a casting vote on an amendment should leave the bill in its original form and so the Deputy Speaker gave her casting vote to the Noes. This means that the amendment failed.

Debate in Parliament

Liberal MP Bruce Billson moved the amendment in order to shift default responsibility for administering paid parental leave payments away from the employer and onto the federal department secretary.(Read Billson MP's explanation here. ) He said the purpose of the amendment was to “reduce the compliance burden for employers”.

Labor MP Jenny Macklin, who introduced the Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012, said that the Labor Government opposed this amendment on the basis of recommendations made by the Productivity Commission.(Read Macklin MP's whole contribution here. ) She said the Commission recommended that “the delivery mechanism [of the scheme] should demonstrate that paid parental leave is a normal feature of employment arrangements like other workplace entitlements such as annual leave”.

Background to the bill

The Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012 was introduced to extend the Paid Parental Leave Scheme to certain working fathers and partners so that they receive two weeks’ dad and partner pay at the rate of the national minimum wage.(Read more about the bill and its context here. For more information about paid parental leave more generally, see the Department of Human Services website.)

References

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

24th Feb 2011, 10:11 AM – Representatives Paid Parental Leave (Reduction of Compliance Burden for Employers) Amendment Bill 2010 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against reading the Paid Parental Leave (Reduction of Compliance Burden for Employers) Amendment Bill 2010 for a second time.

This means that the majority of members did not agree with the main idea of the bill and so the bill was rejected.

The bill was introduced by the Liberal Party MP Bruce Billson as a private member's bill. Its purpose was to amend the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 so that the federal department secretary would continue to administer the paid parental leave scheme. Billson MP said that this bill "is solely about reducing the compliance burden on employers in the processing and delivery of those payments".(Read Billson MP's explanation here. )

Background to the bill

On 1 January 2011, a paid parental leave scheme began in Australia.(Read more about the Government's paid parental leave scheme on the Department of Human Services website.) It offered eligible people up to 18 weeks of financial support at the rate of the national minimum wage.

For the first six months of the scheme, payment will be administered by the federal department secretary. After that time, employers will become responsible for administering the payment. The Paid Parental Leave (Reduction of Compliance Burden for Employers) Amendment Bill 2010 attempts to stop this transfer of responsibility so that the government continued to administer the payment.

References

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

31st May 2010, 8:32 PM – Representatives Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010, Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010 - Second Reading - Coalition amendments

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That the words proposed to be omitted ... stand part of the question."

In other words, it was a motion to keep the words referred to unchanged.

Tony Abbott MP, leader of the Coalition opposition, had proposed to replace the words in a motion to read the bills a second time with words that called on the Labor Government to amend parts of the proposed paid parental leave scheme.(Read Abbott MP's proposal here. )

Someone who voted Aye wanted the words to remain unchanged. Since the majority of members voted Aye, Abbott MP's attempt to change the words was unsuccessful.

Debate in Parliament

Tony Abbott MP argued that there were a series of “flaws” in the government's paid parental leave scheme that needed to be amended.(Read Abbott MP's whole contribution here. ) These included the fact that it does not include superannuation, is only 18 weeks long (rather than 26 weeks), is paid at the level of the minimum wage (rather than a replacement wage) and requires employers to administer the scheme (rather than the government).

Labor MP Jenny Macklin disagreed. She argued that the inclusion of superannuation would be considered when the scheme is reviewed in two years and that extending the scheme or providing a replacement wage rather than the minimum wage would be too costly.(Read Macklin MP's who contribution here ) Finally, she argued that employers should administer the scheme for their long term employees because the Labor Party wants the scheme to be treated like any other workplace entitlement.

Background to the bills

The Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010 and the Paid Parental Leave (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2010 were introduced by the Labor Government to establish a Government-funded Paid Parental Leave (PPL)scheme from 1 January 2011.(Read more about the Government's paid parental leave scheme in the bill's digest (522 KB) and the Department of Human Services website.)

References

No No Passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 85 110

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 85 / 110 = 77%.

And then