Australia: Corporate Tax and Maternity/Paternal Leave Changes for 2015
Australia's new Liberal Coalition government led by PM Tony Abbot has announced plans to reduce the corporate tax rate by 1.5% from July 1, 2015. If plans proceed, as of that time, businesses will pay 28.5%. However, a 1.5% levy is to be applied to all companies with taxable income greater than $5 million in order to fund a new maternity/parental leave policy.
Under this new leave arrangement, six months of parental leave on "full replacement wages" will be available for mothers whose salary is up to $150,000 per annum plus superannuation. Fathers will be eligible for two of the 26 weeks as dedicated paternity leave, also at replacement wages plus superannuation. If the father is the primary caregiver, the father will be paid the lower of his wage or the mother's wage. The government will administer the scheme and pay employees directly. The scheme will be funded by a 1.5% levy on companies whose annual taxable income exceeds $5 million.
The changes are proposed to take effect in July 2015.