19 March 2014

Opposition should support $48m red-tape reduction for business and not-for-profit sector


If Labor was genuine in its words about removing barriers for business then it should support the abolition of the ‘pay-clerk’ burden from the paid parental leave scheme which would save businesses $44 million and the not-for-profit sector $4 million a year.

The Leader of the Opposition said today:

“We are committed in a bipartisan spirit to the organised and ongoing effort to minimise and simplify and create cost effective regulation.”

If the Opposition Leader is true to his word then I expect Labor to end its years of obstruction to this sensible red-tape reduction measure and support the Government’s bill to remove the $48 million ‘pay-clerk’ burden.

Red-tape reductions like this deserve bipartisan support as they make life easier for business by driving productivity, innovation and employment opportunities.

There is no reason why business should have to act as the ‘pay-clerk’ when the Family Assistance Office can do the job. In fact, the Family Assistance Office did the job when the scheme first started.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted a survey of its members on the Paid Parental Leave scheme in May 2013. In the survey, 84.3 per cent of businesses either agreed or strongly agreed that “the Government should not require employers to be the paymaster for the Paid Parental Leave scheme.”

I don’t know why in government Labor voted down this measure twice and then earlier this month tried to dilute it given business is crying out for this burden to be removed.

I take heart from the Opposition Leader’s comments todaythat they will support a measure which makes life easier for business and hope that his words will be translated into action.

By removing the ‘pay-clerk’ burden businesses of all sizes would be relieved of the red-tape burden of acting as the ‘pay-clerk’ for the paid parental leave scheme unless the employer and employee both ‘opt in’ to having the employer administer payments.

On the burden of government regulation, Australia ranks 128th in the world, an extraordinary tumble down from 68thunder the previous Labor Government, which is why it’s important we remove head-winds to business like this.

Today, as part of Repeal Day, the Government introduced thePaid Parental Leave Amendment Bill 2014 which seeks to remove the ‘pay-clerk’ burden from business.