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.)