The Department of Human Services
For the PPL Employer Toolkit
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The Story of the PPL Employer Toolkit and how Stupid it is
Some years ago the then Labor Government announced that the Government would pay Paid Parental Leave (PPL) available to everybody.
We thought that was pretty good. Finally, universal paid parental leave.
Then they told us that Centrelink would not pay the eligible people directly but would send the money to the employer who would then have to pay the person, by putting the money through their bank account and pay run.
We thought that was pretty stupid. Nobody unnecessarily includes a third party in a payment process.
We complained and were told that it would only ‘take 5 minutes’. We explained that this process would create problems for a small business person, particularly with managing inputs to the business chart of accounts and putting it through the accounting and payroll software. The PPL payment is not a grant or income from sales or a loan - so just what is it? For the purposes of bringing the funds into the business through the chart of accounts it must be listed as ‘Other (PPL)’. For the pay run we pointed out that a person would have to manually process that pay or it would cause mistakes to be made with the Business Activity Statement and the end of year tax payment summaries (the old group certificates) as well as with superannuation, leave accrual and other leave. It was suggested by the minister’s office that a simple Q&A be provided via a website that would help a small business person complete the pay run. We explained to no avail that was not possible as there are many different types of software and different formats of charts of accounts.
So, we assume under direct pressure from the Minister, the public servants came up with a PPL Employer Toolkit. So for a process that would only take 5 minutes we ended up with instructions provided through a toolkit that is 50 pages long with the last 4 pages consisting of html and xml code that the small business person can use in their software. That’s right – the small business person is supposed to hack into the software and replace the code that currently exists with the suggested code.
How plain crazy.
A government agency is telling small business people to break the law and hack into software (somehow or other) to satisfy a plainly stupid idea.
You can see the PPL Employer Toolkit HERE but just for fun we've published below one of the pages of code for your amusement.
From page 47 of the Toolkit:
"XML sample file—one customer only
The following XML sample file shows the format of the file and where each section repeats with additional employees and Payment Groups.
XML sample file—complete example
The following XML sample file shows a full example of an employer with multiple employees and Payment Groups.
<payDestDesc> FORTNIGHTLY NIGHT STAFF</payDestDesc>
<busName>BEST FOODS PTY LTD</busName>
<empName>WHITE MARY M</empName>