Paid Parental Leave scheme

Australia's first national Paid Parental Leave scheme was introduced on 1 January 2011.

Under the Paid Parental Leave scheme, eligible working parents can get tax-payer funded pay when they take time off from work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child.

Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers may be eligible.

The Paid Parental Leave scheme provides two payments – Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay.

As of 1 October 2016, Paid Parental Leave payments are included as income for all income support payments. This means that Paid Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay amounts are included when determining if a person or their partner (if applicable) is eligible for an income support payment. More information can be found on the Australian Government Department of Human Services website

Parental Leave Pay

Parental Leave Pay provides eligible working parents (usually birth mothers) with up to 18 weeks of pay at the rate of the national minimum wage, currently $672.60 per week before tax.

Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers may be eligible.

Tax-payer funded Parental Leave Pay is usually provided by employers to long-term employees in their usual pay cycle. Parents who do not receive Parental Leave Pay from their employer or who do not have an employer, receive the payments directly from Centrelink.

Parents and employers can find out more, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, at the Australian Government Department of Human Services website.

Note: the Government has proposed changes to the current tax-payer funded Paid Parental Leave. Legislation to give effect to these changes has not yet passed the Parliament.  Until legislation is passed, the current arrangements remain in place.

The current arrangements allow parents to access both employer-funded paid parental leave and tax-payer funded Paid Parental Leave.

Dad and Partner Pay

Dad and Partner Pay provides eligible working dads or partners with up to two weeks pay at the rate of the national minimum wage (currently $672.60 per week before tax).

Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers may be eligible.

Dads or partners have to be on unpaid leave or not working to receive the payment. The role of employers in Dad and Partner Pay is to provide unpaid leave so that their eligible employees can access it.

Parents and employers can find out more, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, at the Australian Government Department of Human Services website.

Review of the Paid Parental Leave scheme

The Australian Government has undertaken a legislated review of the Paid Parental Leave scheme. The review took into account the matters set out in legislation and drew on submissions, consultations, administrative data and the available findings of the independent Paid Parental Leave evaluation.

Paid Parental Leave evaluation

An independent evaluation of the Paid Parental Leave scheme was completed over four phases between 2010 and 2014. The evaluation was conducted by a consortium of experts led by the University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research. It is based on data collected through interviews and surveys with parents and employers.

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