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Oceana Welfare Act (2012



Oceana Bill

12 Oceana Welfare Act (2012)
Proposed By: On: Bill Type: Sponsors: Minister for Domestic Affairs Charles Westerman (UO) 10/02/12 Government Bill Prime Minister James A. Livingstone (UO)

Legislative Progress Report
Introduced by: On: Stage 1: Stage 2: Committee: Stage 3: Final Vote: Adopted: Signed into Law: Status: Tabled in Committee, pending report on Finances of Bill. Minister for Domestic Affairs Charles Westerman (UO) 10/02/12 10/02/12 – Moved to Committee [Aye: 12 Nay: 3 Abstain: 2] 10/02/12 Domestic Affairs and Finance Joint Committee

Oceana Bill Number 12


Oceana Welfare Act (2012)


The main point of the 'Oceana Welfare Bill (2012)' is to set up the basis for the provision of fair and equal benefits for all eligible citizens of Oceana. This welfare system will include, but is not limited to: Old-Age Pensions; Disability Allowance/ Sick Pay; Child Benefits; Housing Allowance; and Job-Seekers Allowance. The article on each type of benefits will be split into the following categories: I) What the benefit consists of. II) Who will be eligible to receive said benefits. III) Payment and Conditions In addition to these main areas, provisions for future additions and amendments to the bill will be made.

Article I – Pensions
Section I The state pension for Citizens of Oceana will be defined as a weekly payment to all eligible citizens, of not less than A125/week. Section II All Oceanan citizens born on or before 01/01/1957 will be entitled to a full and unrestricted pension, as defined above. This benefit will be extended to all eligible citizens until the day they die. Section III Payment will be issued on a weekly basis every week from the first week a claimant opts to draw from their pension. This will be then be paid automatically every week until death. Any citizen may opt, if they wish after reaching eligible pension age, to continue living on another income, or on their own personal savings and assets, for as long-a period of time as they see fit. Any person choosing to do this, will become eligible upon beginning to take their Pension, for a lump sum equal to 90% of the pension they have not claimed thus far. Private pensions may in any case be taken out by any Oceanan citizen, and this will in no way impact their eligibility to claim a state pension equal to anyone else's.

Article II – Disability Benefit
Section I The Disability Benefit payment for Oceanan citizens will be paid at a variable rate, depending on the level of disability, and how much of an impact this has on the sufferer's life, ability to find a job, and how much extra costs it generates, among other factors. The lowest band of Disability Benefit will be paid at roughly A120 per month, up to the highest band, paying A400 per month Section II Citizens may apply for Disability Benefits on the grounds of any long term condition they have (Short-term is to be covered by Sick Pay). Applicants will be required to undergo a medical exam, and/or Psychological exam, as appropriate, the results of which will determine which band of payments – if any – the applicant will be eligible to receive. Oceana Bill Number 12 2

Oceana Welfare Act (2012) Conditions with the capacity to be non-permanent, as defined by the examining professional, may require re-tests at regular intervals, to ensure continued eligibility.


Section III Disability Benefits will be granted only by application, there will be no provision for these benefits being given automatically. Any claimant of Disability benefits may also be eligible to receive other benefits, though these may apply at a reduced rate. Benefits may never be stacked to allow a standard of living above that which is provided for under the national minimum wage.

Article III – Child Maintenance Benefits
Section I Child Maintenance Benefits are to be defined as a monthly sum paid to eligible parents. This will be valued at a flat rate of A80 per month per child up to a family's second child, after which the rate will drop by 33% to A54 per child per month. Section II All children living with at least one parent of Oceanan citizenship will be eligible for the full payment of Child Maintenance Benefits. In the case of single parents, the sum will be paid on the condition that the parent is an Oceanan citizen. All children who are either a) 18 or under, or b) still in full-time education and aged 19, will be eligible for the payment. Section III Child Maintenance Benefits will be paid automatically to all eligible families starting from the end of the month their child is born. This process will be fully automated until the child reaches their 19th birthday, at which point the government must be informed as to whether the child will be moving on to further full-time education. Children in adoptive or foster families will be granted the same payments as those in biological families, subject to the same conditions. Additional payments may be available to foster families looking after large numbers of children.

Article IVa – Job-seekers' Allowance and Sick Pay
Section I Job seeker's Allowance is to be defined as a payment of A65 a week for a period of not more than 4 months. Similarly Sick Pay is to be defined as a sum of A70 a week paid to a person for a period of not more than 3 months. Section II Job-Seeker's Allowance will be afforded to any Oceanan citizen not in full time Education, who is actively looking for a job. Those under the age of 18 cannot claim Job Seeker's Allowance. Any person wishing to claim Job-Seeker's Allowance for longer than the prescribed 4 months may be added to a government project list (See Article IVa, Section IV for details). Sick Pay is to be afforded to any Oceanan citizen who cannot work in their current job for a short-term medical reason (long term issues falling under disability leave). The period of payment for Sickness pay may, in exceptional cases, be extended.

Oceana Bill Number 12


Oceana Welfare Act (2012) Section III The application process for these two benefits are to be broadly similar. Upon finding one's self to be unable to work/out of work, an application is sent to the appropriate local office (online, by phone, or in person), and will be addressed as soon as possible. In the case of long wait times, payments can be backdated to the date of the application. It is an employer's responsibility to return an employee to the same position they filled before their Sick Leave, with no penalties attached, upon their return from not more than 3 months of absence


Section IV – JSA after 4 Months Those still claiming Job-Seeker's Allowance after the prescribed 4 month maximum will be required to join the workforce on a government project. These will generally revolve around improving and upgrading the country's infrastructure, or various community services. All such jobs will be paid at full minimum wage, and travel will be provided for those who cannot provide their own. In the absence of an available project within a reasonable distance, claimants will continue to receive their benefits, and will be allocated a slot as soon as one becomes available. Any member of these projects will be encouraged to continue searching for a job, and time off will be allowed to attend training/interviews in as many cases as possible.

Article IVb – Parenting Leave
Section I Parenting Leave (known frequently as maternity of paternity leave) will be paid at a rate of A70 a week for up to 15 months per child. Section II The Mother or Father of a newly born child may take this period of leave any time between 4 months between the due date, and 15 months after the date of birth – the exact timing and duration, to the limit of 15 months total, are at the discretion of the parent in question. Only Oceanan citizens may qualify for this benefit. Section III The application for Parenting leave is handled in the same way as for sick leave, though through a different office. As with the employer's responsibility regarding sick leave, the same applies for those returning from parenting leave. If both parents wish to take a period of parenting leave, they may opt to split up to 18 months leave between themselves as they see fit. The same limitations and benefits as single-parent leave apply.

Article V – Other Notes/Provisions
Any part of this bill, most especially the amounts and the criteria for their allocation, may be changed at any point by no more than a simple majority within parliament.


Charles Westerman James A. Livingstone

Oceana Bill Number 12