Neither Carmel or Zoe want babies anytime soon… but they *do* know that babies are expensive, and it’s got them thinking… just how many dollars do you need? If you’re a couple who are now going to get by on a single income, what should you be thinking about? How does parental leave work? And how long do you have to be working somewhere to qualify for any type of leave? Does the government help you out? And how much money can you qualify for once the baby arrives?
To help them untangle some of the questions, they speak to Kelsey Jane from Finance Money Life (that’s FML for short).
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Zoe Moorhead: [00:00:18] Hello and welcome to another episode of Meet Pay Love, a podcast where we talk all about money and relationships because the biggest financial decision you'll ever make is who spend the rest of your life with. My name is Zoe and as always, I am here with my elder sister Carmel. Hello, Carmel, Zoe. [00:00:35][16.4]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:00:35] And as always, we'd like to start off by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land in which we are recording and listening to this podcast. And today we pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. [00:00:46][10.6]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:00:47] Now we've got a really interesting topic for you today, because this isn't something that Kamal and I have ever considered ourselves. But having heard this, it is something that is totally on my mind now. And we're talking about parental leave and parental rights in the workforce [00:01:00][13.5]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:01:01] because around 50 percent of companies in Australia offer extra paid parental leave other than what is government mandated, according to Moneybag. [00:01:10][8.7]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:01:11] The thing is that I'm sure a lot of people know that in Australia there is government-mandated leave, but we don't know exactly what that is, what our rights are, and how much they're actually paying us to have our kids. [00:01:21][10.1]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:01:21] We don't know how much money we get. We don't know who's eligible. We don't know what your workplace can give you if it's on top of the government scheme or if it's instead of the government scheme. [00:01:32][11.5]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:01:33] Because the thing is, is that we are the ones that are going to fall pregnant. But what does it also mean for our partners? Can they do their own paternity leave? [00:01:40][7.8]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:01:41] That's right. And how can we best prepare ourselves now when we're not thinking about falling pregnant for the time when we might be required to take a long time off work? What are the small things that we can do to really put ourselves financially in the best position as individuals? And also in a couple? [00:01:58][16.8]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:01:58] Now, I'd like to start this conversation by saying that this is a preparing for the future. So it's a luxury of having the time and space and the ability to think about this. It is a conversation to spark other conversations. Obviously, there are times when you fall pregnant and you're not quite prepared for it. But this is nice general learnings. [00:02:16][17.2]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:02:16] Now, we're going to go to a short clip from someone that's called in to us to talk about their financial experience when preparing for a child. [00:02:23][7.0]
Alex: [00:02:24] So my name is Alex. I am thirty two years old and a physiotherapist. My husband and I have been married for two and a half years, been together for ten years. Before that, we ended up deciding to have a baby and are fortunate enough to now have a three month old little boy. So when we were talking about having a baby, we did have multiple discussions about finances and how we could plan for the time off, which I wasn't receiving a salary. And those discussions included making sure that my work was permanent so that I knew that I would definitely be getting maternity leave and payment for the three months. We also wanted to make sure that Rob was in a role of which he was happy and secure and he'd recently just change careers. So we decided to give him ideally at least a year in that role to make sure that it was a secure enough role to be able to support us down the track. And then we also discussed any extra finances that we'd be needing to consider so that we still had a big enough savings to access when we were down to one salary. I think in regards to those that are thinking of having a baby and my one piece of advice would be for peace of mind, make sure that you do have a significant amount of savings in the bank, because I was surprised myself on how much your thinking changes as soon as you know that you're going to go down to one income. So that just gave me or both of us peace of mind. I think my thought of a significant amount of savings definitely varies to my husband. I'm a lot more conservative, but I think the other thing to consider, too, is whether or not you're going to go public or private to have the baby, because if you go private, it can be up to ten thousand dollars in the entire process. So you want to make sure that you've got enough money for that as well. We went public and more so because I was recommended to go public, because I had a high risk pregnancy, which we were fortunate enough that it meant there were very little bills compared to my friends that went through the private system. So and I was very fortunate enough within the public hospital system to receive three months of full time payment, which is fantastic. [00:04:55][150.9]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:04:56] Thanks so much, Alex, for sending that in. It's really. Interesting to hear your thoughts now. [00:05:01][4.9]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:05:01] We're going to hear from Kelsey Jane, who is in a unique position of being a senior employment lawyer and running her own podcast called Money Finance Life, or FMU. [00:05:10][9.1]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:05:11] She's very passionate about financial issues and particularly for supporting young women to reach their financial potential. We'll let Kelsey introduce herself now. [00:05:20][9.2]
Kesley Jane: [00:05:21] Hey guys, it's so lovely to be here. It's great to speak to you guys a little bit about me. Well, what do you want to know? In my kind of day to day, what pays the bills is, yes, I'm a senior employment lawyer. That's kind of what I do day to day and have been doing for some time. And then on the side, I have my little finance money life podcast, as you said, because just like you, too, I'm very passionate about financial education, particularly for younger generations and particularly for women as well, and I guess closing that investing gap that we do see. So that's what I do in my spare time. [00:05:57][35.8]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:05:57] So if we could just start off for someone who has no idea about anything, maternity, paternity or parental leave, what are those things? [00:06:07][9.8]
Kesley Jane: [00:06:08] So I guess the first thing I'd say is they're actually not called maternity and paternity leave anymore. That's all legislation, technically speaking. It's called parental leave. And that's to be a little bit more inclusive, obviously, in this modern day and age, which is quite nice. But essentially what it is, is if you are about to have a child, including adopting a child, you can access some paid form of leave, sometimes before the child, sometimes after the child, as well as unpaid leave for a certain period of time. And it may seem obvious that this is available, but it's actually not always been available in Australia and also in other countries. And there are different ways that we have discussed or thought about as a country around how this may actually take place in this game. There's always proposals floating around around how to improve some of these games as well. So what we have right now is certainly not a world leading scheme, but it is better than having nothing. [00:07:07][59.0]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:07:08] And so with this scheme, is there like a standard or a minimum eligible amount of time that you are allowed across the board you can take off? [00:07:15][7.5]
Kesley Jane: [00:07:16] Yeah. So you first of all, you've got to meet the eligibility criteria, which I can get into. But if we say yes, you've met the eligibility criteria, then you can access initially up to 12 months unpaid leave. If you're getting the paid component of that leave, then you can get 18 week paid leave, but split into two periods. So generally we see the first periods taking is 12 weeks or the equivalent in terms of days. That's how it's actually calculated. And then you can access up to six weeks in terms of a flexible second period. So that second period gives you a little bit more flexibility. You don't have to use that as a one off six week bulk period. You might actually return to work. So say you're returning to work and you usually work four days per week beforehand. This one says, OK, say you want to return and work two days, you can return to work in your four days and two days of that, your working week could become parental leave for you. So it's a bit more of a flexible way to take it, if you like. [00:08:15][59.1]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:08:16] When you say 12 months unpaid leave, this might be a naive question. But what's the benefit of that is that that means that you can take that time away from work and not get fired. [00:08:27][10.8]
Kesley Jane: [00:08:28] Yes, correct. So you're not, I guess, as I often say, a misunderstanding with a lot of people to say, well, hi, I'm entitled to take any amount of leave. As long as I'm not getting paid during that time, I'm allowed to do that. And the employee just needs to put out with that essentially. Now, that's actually not the case. There are some situations where your employer has to allow you to have leave, but it's not the case that you can decide, hey, I'm you know, I've just won't get paid for a little while and I can remain in your books forever. So this is a legislative entitlement to say, hey, you can still have that job and you're still going to be employed on the books, even though you might be taking that period of leave and [00:09:07][39.2]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:09:07] you can come back and then resume work as normal, you assume. [00:09:10][2.8]
Kesley Jane: [00:09:11] Yeah. So for that first 12 months period in particular, there's what's called a parental leave guarantee or return to work guarantee. So what that says is you are entitled to return to work in the same or a substantially similar or similar role. So, yes, they can replace you and that's why you are away for 12 months from the office. They can replace you in that role, but they have to advertise it as a parental leave replacement and they have to put it is a fixed term contract. Essentially, when you can return to the office at that time, then that person would no longer have that role unless, as I said, say, they want to make that role redundant in a time that you're off or they want to change it in some way. They still able to do that as long as they're able to offer you a similar role upon your return. [00:09:57][46.0]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:09:57] Yeah. So something being made were done. Myer on parental leave, it seems a bit dodgy. [00:10:02][4.5]
Kesley Jane: [00:10:03] Yeah, and so, in fact, we actually do see that happen quite often, unfortunately. I mean, look, I mean, that's completely just me saying that that's not statistics related. And I have a skewed sample because, of course, businesses come to me when they want to work through these particular issues. So but yes, we do often say people go on parental leave and the business might think, actually, we won't replace them. We'll see how much work is required, for example. And then six months down the track, they might still have not replace them and go. And actually, I'm not sure we need this role anymore. Clearly, we don't have the work for which I have the demand for it. That could be one reason. Another reason is they might have had to restructure or thinking about a restructure for months or years in advance. Just because you've now decided to go on parental leave doesn't change the strategy or the reorganization it needs to take place. So, yes, being made redundant while you're on parental leave can happen. They have obligations to talk to you about that and obligations under redundancy law. But sometimes, even though the timing may not be ideal, it may not just be dodgy in terms of, hey, you've taken parental leave and therefore we we're acting in some adverse way around you. Sometimes that can be legitimate, legitimate reasons, which is why the lower tax [00:11:16][73.1]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:11:17] with your role and your position and you obviously talk on the business side of things rather than just the individual. Have you ever come across a case where they do want to sort of get rid of someone unfairly? And what what happens around that? [00:11:32][15.0]
Kesley Jane: [00:11:32] Yes, definitely. So I think what is challenging as somebody so passionate about, you know, women and being a woman, I'm a passionate feminist. I'll say that in terms of we should be afforded equal rights in this community, etc.. It is frustrating when I hear arguments around women being put forward and the disadvantages, the structural disadvantages that we can face. And there seems to be an offhand comment that does get made from people that says, well, it's illegal, so it doesn't happen. Now, unfortunately, that's not the reality. And I see that as basically that first line of work when it comes to these situations. So is also illegal doesn't mean that we don't be so often I have those conversations with businesses where they will call me and sometimes they don't. It doesn't mean it's inadvertent or they don't mean anything by it. It could simply be, hey, this replacement started. They're gung ho. They're amazing. They have a completely different skill set that we didn't realize that we needed. We still really value the person that's just going on parental leave. We still appreciate all the work and how they've performed in that time. But this person is incredible. We've signed on X, Y, Z, new contracts because of this person. We want to keep the person and we can't afford both roles. And it's challenging because you do have to have conversations. And I remember partner of one of the old law firms that I worked for, she put it very bluntly to a client one day, but she said, you know, essentially you've got a wife and you want to leave your wife for a mistress and you can do that, but it's going to be expensive for you. So how important to you is to do that? And you're breaking whatever values or laws that might happen because we've got protection set up. So sometimes you have to have really blunt conversations with clients to basically say we can't support you doing this because you are breaching the laws or otherwise you need to think around. For example, is this a conversation that you need to have with that person and come up with some mutual arrangement that you're both happy with? [00:13:39][126.4]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:13:40] That's a really good analogy. I think I just got a little chill when you said that. [00:13:44][3.9]
Kesley Jane: [00:13:45] Yeah. And I think that's the thing. I think some people, when I say that, kind of shut out. But that's what happens. You know, just just like I'm getting married later this year. Hopefully we stay together the whole time. It just because we're married doesn't mean that people aren't unfaithful. Just because these laws exist in the workplace doesn't mean that this exact situation doesn't arise. So unfortunately, it can be a reality and it can be really difficult for women who are taking parental leave to trust in a system when things like this can and do happen. [00:14:19][33.2]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:14:19] What's the thing? I remember hearing a story of our mum come when she was pregnant with Carmel, was fired from her job, and I think even when she was pregnant with me, was fired from a job again. So that happened twice to her working in the advertising industry words. It's important like people need to be there to do their job. [00:14:37][17.3]
Kesley Jane: [00:14:37] But I think it's right. And I think the kind of offhand comment that it can't happen because it's illegal, unfortunately, has this impact of belittling these people's experiences where it absolutely has happened. So as an employment lawyer, I can say it does happen and it doesn't just happen because people are evil, organizations are evil. It can just. Because of the circumstances, but unfortunately, it is a consideration that I think that I don't have kids yet, I may do in the future, and it is something that I actually think around, wow, there is a risk that there will be an impact to my career and my future in making that decision. [00:15:15][37.2]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:15:16] And so I'm the only nonlawyer in the room at the moment that comes along. You're a lawyer in my I'm so sorry this is offensive, but in my opinion, when businesses come to you to a lawyer, I'm always just like imagining they're trying to get around the problem. But you're saying that you're going to tell them exactly what's happening and you're helping them get away, get away with it? [00:15:38][22.1]
Kesley Jane: [00:15:39] Absolutely. Have I had to have really difficult conversations with businesses that are absolutely doing the wrong thing? So you might have a small, medium sized business that calls up and says this person's pregnant. She told me she wasn't going to get pregnant. I asked her in the interview and I'm sitting there going, You did what? And they will say actively because they don't even realize it's wrong. And now it's like, this is my money, you know, for her to take parental leave that's coming out of my back pocket. I'm already struggling. What particularly in these circumstances say someone's having I'm having this conversation with someone that suffered from coronavirus. It can come from that place. And I do have to play that role of, well, hang on, these are your legal responsibilities. So I need to stop you there and we need to think about it. [00:16:21][42.5]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:16:22] You're listening to meet pay love where we talk all things money and relationships. [00:16:25][3.6]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:16:26] My name is Zoe and I'm here with my sister Carmel. We're just going to take a quick break right now to hear this message from our sponsors. And when we come back, we'll hear more from Kelsey. [00:16:34][7.3]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:16:35] If you could, please explain to us what other different offerings that workplaces can provide and what's the spectrum of that? What do you say is most common? What is the bare minimum? What is the maximum? [00:16:47][12.0]
Kesley Jane: [00:16:48] Yeah. So before I do that, I'll just give a little bit more information on the government's game, if I can. So what I was talking about before in terms of the eight weeks is basically what we call your primary care is parental leave. And ordinarily that's the woman who's having the baby. And then ordinarily that person cares for it after the time. There's also a government scheme that's called dad and partner pay. So again, trying to be a little bit more inclusive here because someone who's a secondary carer and generally what they do is they have access to two weeks paid leave at a particular time period. So again, all up, if you like, if you are in a relationship with someone that would meet that dad and partner pay requirement, you could access 20 weeks leave under the government. One thing I'll say that a lot of people don't know, and it can come as a little bit of an alarm when they've done their budget. A lot of people go, right, I'm going to have 20 weeks leave at my pay. So they might be making one hundred twenty thousand dollars maybe a year if they're really lucky and they're doing all the calculations going, OK, that's great. I'm still going to get eight weeks or 20 weeks worth of pay. And they set that money aside. The week's pay is not paid at your salary. It's paid at the national the base minimum wage. So the base minimum wage at the moment is seven hundred and fifty three point eighty per week. So if you are getting the 18 weeks leave, you're going to get about thirteen thousand five hundred dollars. And then the dad or partner pay component of that is about another fifteen hundred or so altogether. Your maximum entitlement that would be paid would be about fifteen thousand dollars and that would all get taxed as normal taxable income. So that can be quite a big difference for people that are not used to being on the base. Minimum pay. [00:18:37][109.1]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:18:38] Yeah, I'm not even thinking about getting pregnant any time soon, but I just feel like I've been punched in the face. Feels that way. So I do have a question as well. What about casual workers? Are they going to receive the same amount of parental pay even if they're working maybe casual contracts, but working full time or just working casual hours? [00:18:59][20.9]
Kesley Jane: [00:19:00] It's a great question. So casual workers are generally not entitled to paid parental leave unless they've been working for a business for twelve months on what we call a regular and systematic basis. So there's all kinds of case law around what is regular and systematic. It's that child. But it's one of those key considerations that I know we don't always plan when we can have kids. And that's sometimes the beauty of it, having that beautiful, hopefully happy surprise for people out there. But if you are like me, probably someone that likes to plan and have a bit of control over the process to the extent that you can, being mindful of these things and going, right, I have to be with an employer for twelve months. And that's the same whether or not you're casual or part time and full time. So if you're a part time, full time, you still got to be within the twelve months. But casual. You also had that added obligation. If you have to show that you've worked regular and systematic hours. So say for example, you might have worked Tuesdays and Thursdays, six till nine for a period of two years. That's probably likely. But if you work. Sporadically, different dates and times, maybe had a break for a little while and came back, then there might be a question mark around whether or not you're actually entitled to these payments. I guess the other point I make with the government's game is, as I said before, you have to be eligible. So some of those eligibility requirements are just talked around. So there's you have to meet a work test and have been employed for a business for more than 12 months. For example, there's also an income test. You don't receive your component of paid parental leave if in the last financial year you earned one hundred and fifty thousand dollars or more. So this is very interesting, I think unintended consequence, but it has been raised a number of times and the government hasn't rectified it yet. Consider this scenario. Consider I'm making one hundred grand and happy days for me and my partner makes one hundred grand. OK, well, together then we can get access to the full amount. Fifteen thousand dollars that's on offer from the government. Let's say I make one hundred thousand dollars and my partner makes one hundred and sixty thousand dollars. OK, well then I'm going to get my entitlement of thirteen thousand five hundred. My partner won't get his of one thousand five hundred. So we're sure, even though as a couple in that scenario we're making more money. Now consider the situation where I'm the one making 160. And my partner is making 60 or whatever it is. I will lose the whole thirteen thousand five hundred. And he will get one thousand five hundred, so there seems to be this assumption that he's on the line, this employment law at the moment in the way that it's drafted, that men will often be the ones that are earning more. So if you are in a partnership where the woman is earning more than that amount and earning more than their partner, you can be, I guess, directly or indirectly affected by this. And you could lose something to the tune of thirteen thousand five hundred, even if the couple your incomes together on those two couples are the same, [00:22:05][185.2]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:22:06] you can really see a situation. And let me know if you have seen this where in the third scenario that you explained a woman is in the thinking about having a child. She's with a partner. He's a male. They're thinking, yep, let's try for a baby. We we want to get pregnant next year. And she's on the cusp of being promoted or getting a pay raise. And she's sitting at maybe the 130, 140 mark. Again, very fortunate position to be in, but. Why does the legislation in a way encourage that person to limit themselves financially from going for a pay rise, whereas if that male, the father in the relationship was in the same position, he could just fire away and go for it? [00:22:55][48.8]
Kesley Jane: [00:22:56] Yeah, it's a really good question, as I said, I don't think it's an intended consequence of the legislation. I don't think anyone's out to get us. I think it's an unintended consequence of what we have been. We've got majority males making legislation, first of all, and who might not be thinking through these types of things. But second of all, this is what society has been lacking. So some of the assumptions that were made when the legislation was first drafted may have been quite fair. And it's only relatively recently since we've made progress that some of these errors or hopefully misconceptions are rising and we're going right. We want to change that. We wanted so absolutely. I say that a lot of women either don't even know about this, and it becomes a shock to them when they've budgeted for this and realized that they're actually not going to need that money or they you have that other type of woman who is actually thinking about this. If they're close to the 150 mark, they are definitely thinking about that. And that can change. Absolutely. Whether or not they take opportunities. And that has some real impact, because we say in the statistics that in your time when you have kids, particularly for women, tends to be when you're at your high income earning years. And so often if you're not taking a pay increase before you have the child, you often won't receive that money again. So your benefits or your superannuation, everything that happens when you return back to work won't be calculated that higher amount. So it's often not simply a decision for high. I won't get that ten thousand dollars now so that I'm better off getting the 15 pastilles altogether. It then often has longer consequences for people and they may never get that additional income that they would have received every year thereafter if they'd taken it. [00:24:43][107.0]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:24:44] Well, I'm hearing from this is that we need more women in government, [00:24:46][1.9]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:24:48] but practically speaking, correct me if I'm wrong, but what I'm hearing from what you're saying is don't be distracted by the thirteen thousand dollars. Is that what you're saying? Firstly, obviously, it's very unfortunate and unfair that women are placed in this position. But secondly, we're in the game. We've got to play it to our advantage. What can we do? [00:25:08][20.3]
Kesley Jane: [00:25:09] Yeah, I mean, I think that really depends on your personal circumstances. It depends if you intend to return back to work and continue to stay in the workforce. If you don't if you and that's a perfectly acceptable decision to make. If you decide, hey, actually, I am going to take this parental leave and maybe never return, then maybe you are better off taking the cash now saying look how I'll decline that promotion to make sure that I'm going to get the 13 five now and then know that you won't have that money coming in, moving forward. Personally, if it were me, if I was going to be on the difference of one forty seven, one forty eight and one fifty one, I might be having a conversation with my employer, decide is there anything else we can do here? Could you buy me an iPad, could you buy me a gift voucher? Could that bonus come in some other way? That doesn't change my income for this period of time, which is perfectly legal. Creative, but if. Yeah, but if I'm going from one city and someone's coming and giving me the opportunity for 150, personally, I take it because that's twenty thousand dollars that I otherwise wouldn't have anyway. And I'm guaranteed to get that every year after that. I stay in that workplace, not to mention the superannuation, but that will also increase because that's off your base amount. So definitely something to think around for your personal circumstances. Just have the knowledge there. Have a look at what your income was recorded last year, because, again, you might be someone that's been really passionate about passive income and has gone and invested in an investment property. That's great. Well, say you are earning thirty thousand dollars in investment income right now. Your salary might only have to be one twenty in your day to your full time job for you to actually make that one fifty when it comes to tax time. So it's definitely something to just be careful of being around and be prepared to have the conversation about with your partner and your boss. [00:27:05][115.9]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:27:06] I'm just going to jump back to adoption for one second and just. Yeah, it's just going to be a quick clarification. So you mentioned that there was primary sort of caregiving where they get the 18 weeks and then secondary, where they get the two extra weeks in maybe an adoption case or a same sex case where they've adopted. Would you have to allocate which one's the primary? Which one's the secondary? [00:27:28][22.6]
Kesley Jane: [00:27:30] Yes. So, again, this is where it gets a little bit complicated. So absolutely. If you adopt a child, there are some caveats and eligibility that you need to meet. But generally speaking, when you adopt a child, you can be eligible for parental leave and both forms of those parental leave. But yes, generally our law does not allow two primary caregivers. It's against definition. It has to be a primary caregiver and a secondary caregiver. So. Generally, yes, you have to allocate dollars and your employer is if they're not sure that what you're telling them is correct, they absolutely have the right to inquire about that and inquire around a case your partner is saving the primary parental leave under our policy or onto the government policy. So, yes, definitely something again to think about. I won't ultimately change what you can get from the government, which will be capped at that. Fifteen thousand. [00:28:21][51.7]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:28:22] Yeah, OK. [00:28:23][0.3]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:28:23] And also, if you're in a heterosexual relationship and you're having a child, you can nominate the male to be the primary caregiver. [00:28:31][7.8]
Kesley Jane: [00:28:32] You can we have I'd say it's very difficult to prove that they actually are the primary caregiver just because of biology and what's required after a child is born, but particularly with adoption. Yes, absolutely. That would be easy to make out. And also, when it comes to employer parental leave schemes, it can be easy to Shaari that actually for an employer or company parental leave scheme, my partner meets those requirements and not me. [00:29:03][30.7]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:29:03] So so you've given us some amazing insights into the government schemes. And I want to circle back to real life people can do in these situations. But before we go further, can you please also explain to us what options workplaces can provide? [00:29:21][17.5]
Kesley Jane: [00:29:21] Absolutely sociopathic. I'm asking to one side. That's one option. Another option is if you're lucky, your employer will also have a benefit, give you a workplace benefit in the form of a parental leave and hopefully paid parental leave scheme. These have been around for a little while now and they're becoming more and more popular, particularly with big organizations. So all of the banks, for example, Westpac, Hombach, whatever, they all have very generous paid parental leave schemes, finance the banking, financial and even sorry insurance industries. The BFI, they are well known for very generous parental leave schemes and they see that as a way to attract good talent. I call it talent will come to us because we offer this, however small, medium sized businesses. Again, it's up to them. They might decide. Now, this is not something that we have the money to invest in for our people or we prefer to spend that money elsewhere on other benefits for our guys. So if you're planning for a baby, you can check with your employer whether or not they offer their own workplace scheme. And if they don't, that's a consideration for you. Whether or not you stay in your current job and say, OK, how can I access the government scheme? And hopefully you can. If not, you're going to be left with trying to support that time that you're off work with your own means. Otherwise you could look to switch jobs, but you need to factor in the time that it will take you to be eligible at that new job. And we actually do say that. So I actually used to work for one of the top insurers at Australia and we did see that happen quite often where employees would actively seek out these types of work at of time in their life, where they could therefore access some of the benefits that we had on offer in terms of parental leave. In terms of the things that are on offer, we see very generous supplementary paid parental leave schemes, so we see the whole spectrum. Some might have one week to two weeks, some might have 20 weeks paid parental leave. And you can supplement that. For example, we also see other types of payments so employees can offer things like a welcome back payment. So when they actually come back to the office after having a child, if they come back to the office to incentivize them to come back to work, they might get a lump sum payment of three or four grand, five grand, things like this. So there's a bunch of different benefits. Some of them offered subsidized childcare. All of these things become part of their parental leave offering as a business. [00:31:48][146.9]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:31:49] So we briefly spoke before we started recording the podcast that you're engaged and that you see children as a part of your future. Is that fair to say? [00:31:58][8.7]
Kesley Jane: [00:31:59] Yeah, potentially not right now for me, but in the next few years, it's definitely something I'm going to need to make a decision about for sure [00:32:06][6.9]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:32:07] for yourself and perhaps anyone else in this situation. What are some of the things that you would recommend that they look into in advance and how can they prepare themselves for potentially falling pregnant and having a child? [00:32:19][12.4]
Kesley Jane: [00:32:20] Sure. So, I mean, I will get this answer or someone that doesn't have children, and I'm sure there'll be lots of mums listening that will go, oh, he's so much more valuable information because I have one experience. But as I said, looking at your income, does your employer offer those schemes? Are you a case, for example, the employer scheme, you might be earning more than 150, but your employer has a good, generous scheme and then you're fine with that. Is it possible, though, that you may actually have this baby with no support from the government or in your employer? And that could be because the timing's off. You haven't worked there for 12 months. It could be because you're a casual worker and you don't meet those requirements of regular and systematic. So we just need to know that so that you can plan for that and put the money aside for that. And that's definitely something that I will be doing. If you are very lucky to be a high income earner and you look like you may be going over that 150 mark and you only have the government scheme, it's other things you can think around in terms of strategies to actually decrease your tax, come to tax time. So whether or not you use negative gearing or the property or something like that, so you can actually reduce your taxable income in order to receive the payment. The other things I would be thinking about particularly is superannuation. So I'm not going to touch on this quickly because I know it's a very big topic. But we see so many statistics around. When women take time out of the workforce, they're obviously not receiving their superannuation payments. The way that superannuation is designed in terms of having that compound interest means that women are very much disadvantaged if they take time out of the workforce, they're not receiving that compounding effect on the money that's going in. Then we see the money going in. But they're also missing the interest that would be earned on the money that was going in. So my partner and I have had a very frank conversation around if I am to take off time, off work, to have a child, we need to be in a financial position where he can make some positive contributions to my superannuation. So those are some of the things that I would be thinking about. [00:34:22][121.7]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:34:23] Thank you so much, KLC. That was a lot of information for me that I would never have considered if we hadn't had this conversation. And I hope that this was very valuable to everyone else. I really love [00:34:33][10.3]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:34:34] the practical tips of going to your employer and say, hey, give me a gift voucher or be really intentional around falling pregnant. If you have that luxury and really being like, OK, I need to be in my workplace for at least 12 months before I have a baby and just knowing the tips and tricks to really put yourself in the best financial position possible. [00:34:54][20.3]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:34:54] One thing that really stood out for me is that parental leave is all calculated on Australia's minimum wage rather than what you're earning at the time. So regardless if you are on a like a larger wage, you'd still have to learn how to save some of it yourself, to know how to save some of it before you go on parental leave, because you're only going to get minimum wage out of that. [00:35:14][20.0]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:35:15] Yeah, and that's something that we should be doing regardless anyway, shouldn't we? We should be having an emergency fund set up for if something unexpected does happen, because whether it's pregnancy, whether it's breaking a bone, I don't know. There are so many reasons why someone might be out of work. So we should all be setting up some kind of emergency fund to protect ourselves in the event of unexpected advice from Carmel. [00:35:40][24.5]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:35:41] Definitely, I agree. But some people don't have that luxury. Some people do live paycheck to paycheck. This brings me to my next point. Casual workers are entitled to parental leave unless they like a certain model. [00:35:52][11.5]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:35:53] Unless your're working regular and systematic hours. [00:35:55][1.5]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:35:56] But that's the thing about casual work. It's not regular unsystematic hours. It's casual hours. So maybe if you're in the position where you need to fall pregnant, that's another bit of advice, is that you have to. Sort of think about the hours that you're working as well and how that appears, [00:36:10][14.6]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:36:11] and that's it for this episode of Meet Pay Love. Thank you so much for listening. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please check out our Instagram at Meet Pay Love. Or if you have any ideas or stories that you'd like to share, please email us at MPL@equitymates.com And next week we're going to be hearing from Samantha Jane on the husband project. [00:36:32][21.2]
Samantha Jane: [00:36:32] What I do is I give you a formula, so I give you an actual strategy to follow. So it's four types. Toxic men. I thought the Alcalay about the charm. We've got the intellect and the guy next door. Now, each of those, it's usually behavioral profiling and archetypes for each of those men has specific value. [00:36:48][15.7]
Zoe Moorhead: [00:36:48] This topic is something of interest to you. Please feel free to reach out to us again with any questions or any stories you might have. Thanks again for listening. Until next time later. [00:36:57][8.3]
Carmel Moorhead: [00:36:58] Thanks for listening by Meet Pay Love. Bye [00:36:58][0.0]