The Pharmacy Guild has come under fire for querying the employer role in paid parental leave
As part of its submission to the Senate Inquiry on red tape, the Pharmacy Guild suggested that there are inefficiencies in the current PPL system – but its critics appear to have misunderstood what the organisation was saying.
The RACGP’s Dr Evan Ackermann, a frequent critic of the pharmacy sector, as well as feminist writer Van Badham and Guild representatives weighed into the debate on social media.
It began when pharmacy academic Sajni Gudka queried the part of the Guild’s submission relating to PPL:
— Sajni Gudka (@SajniGudka) November 23, 2017
Dr Ackermann expressed concern, but the Guild’s Victorian president, Anthony Tassone, explained:
No that’s not the case at all employers shouldn’t be the paymasters and administrators of a government payment scheme for recipients in this way
— Anthony Tassone (@A_Tass1) November 23, 2017
Dr Ackermann also appeared concerned as to whether the AJP had plans to cover the story (our story on the Guild’s red tape submission, including its suggestions on PPL, was published here the previous day).
Who will edit / censor / moderate comments on @AJPEditor if they run an article (they seem to be slow on this)
— Evan Ackermann (@EvanAckermann) November 23, 2017
Others soon entered the fray:
We’ve had 3 in 2 years. Submission is about administrative burdens not women in pharmacy. Please pls so politically correct that objectivity is out window?
— Wilson Tan (@WilsonWTPS) November 24, 2017
And the Guild’s Greg Turnbull explained the intent behind the phrasing:
For the record, the section of the submission regarding PPL reads as follows:
“The current paid parental leave employer paymaster role has created an unnecessary burden on community pharmacy small businesses.
“Community pharmacy, as with many health care professions, attracts high numbers of women as both owners and employers.
“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.”
A Guild spokesperson has confirmed to the AJP that the intent behind the phrasing was not to depict women as a burden on employers, but to highlight inefficiencies relating to the actual working of PPL.
“The Guild has consistently expressed the view that the employer paymaster role under the current Paid Parental Leave scheme has imposed an administrative and financial burden on the industry.
“This is a matter of fact, but in no way reflects any criticism of the social merits of Paid Parental Leave.
“It is unfortunate that some people on social media have chosen to both misquote the submission, as well as taking it out of context.”