The Pharmacy Guild has argued that pharmacies should not be required to be the paymasters for paid parental leave, in its submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s recent inquiry on the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Amendment Bill 2015.
Executive director David Quilty says the current system places an unnecessary burden and costs on community pharmacy small businesses. The Guild supports the Bill’s aims to opt business out of making the payments unless the business chooses to continue to do so.
“Community pharmacy, as with many health care professions, attracts high numbers of women,” he says in the submission.
“The high prevalence of women in our workforce coupled with the employer paymaster role under the current PPL scheme has resulted in an administrative and financial burden on the industry.
“The financial costs have been incurred primarily through administering payments, maintaining records, meeting compliance and reporting requirements and undergoing the appropriate system upgrades.
“The cost involved in a small business undertaking the appropriate upgrade to their payroll, leave and other administrative systems are relatively greater than for larger businesses.”
Any benefits to business from the introduction of the PPL scheme – such as staff retention – are counteracted by these additional burdens, the submission says.
Head of Guild Pharmacy Academy Sue Bond also addressed the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment which is looking into the operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training (VET) providers in Australia.
Bond said while learners had a lot of opportunities to get their pharmacy qualifications a number compliance bodies struggled with the number of providers in the market and were unable to ensure quality outcomes.
She called for a number of actions to resolve the issues, including current state and federal funding options be reviewed and the creation of a single comprehensive information system that provides both learners and employers with information about qualifications, funding and providers.