The ‘Spouse’ Benefits
I used to read about same sex marriages and the peculiar problems they pose in USA. Here goes Australia too.
Australian Parliament has passed the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – Superannuation) Act 2008 (Act).
The Act amends the definition of ‘spouse’. It replaces the words ‘as husband or wife of the person’ with ‘in a relationship as a couple (whether the persons are the same sex or different sexes)’. The result is that ‘spouse’ will include a person who is in a relationship as a couple with another person irrespective of their gender.
This enables same-sex spouses to qualify as dependents for the purposes of payment of death benefits (including as a pension). There is no specified minimum time period for a couple to become “spouses”.
The definition of ‘child’ will be as follows:
‘Child’ in relation to a person includes:
a. An adopted child, a step-child and an ex-nuptial child of the person; and a child of the previous spouse.
b. If, at any time, the person was in a relationship as a couple with another person (whether the persons are the same sex/different sexes) – a child who is the product of the person’s relationship with that other person.
c. Someone who is a child of the person within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). This in section 4(1) of the Family Law Act means a ‘child’ as provided in Division I of Part VII.
This brings in a very different set of problems for pension and benefit administrators.
Indian Labour Law had similarity with the Australian labour laws.
Such laws will be made in India too.
I am not sure if Darwin would have thought of our evolution like this !
Things are changing. Laws included
Well I think its great. In fact the Judge responsible for pushing this through is gay and has been in a relationship for 40 years. I can see his point. Why shouldnt this person get paid his pension when he dies? The whole marriage thing is another story though. So are Indian employment laws similar to Australia then?
You know, I am very curious about this. In your capacity as an HR person advising on correct administration of benefits and stuff, have you ever been faced with a same sex spouse of an employee ? How prevalent is this in India ?
Interesting! With the type of awareness campaign on gay rights, it is inly a question of time In india too.
@kavi: Thanks, this subject is very complex.
@Lilly’s Life: The judge story is interesting. As for Indian Society there is incresing awareness about this issue but I guess acceptance of gay relationship is a no-no. This subject is getting discussed far often now in press and some films. With young Indians travelling abroad frequently my guess is that the Australian law will find its counterpart here too.
@Ugich Konitari: I have never faced such a claim. I would like to refer the book ‘Business Maharaja’ which tacitly refers to realtionship between two Directors of a company!