Paid Parental Leave Scheme for Fathers and Partners from 1 January 2013
The federal government’s paid parental leave scheme has now been extended to fathers and partners.
The Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012 makes the payment available to fathers and partners, including adopting parents and parents in same-sex couples, whose babies are born or adopted after 1 January 2013.
The current paid parental leave (PPL) scheme gives eligible working mothers and other primary carers of children up to 18 weeks' parental leave pay at the national minimum wage rate - which as of 1 July 2012 is $606.40 (gross) per week.
The extended scheme will provide eligible fathers and partners with two weeks of financial support after the birth or adoption of their child.
The new payment will be available during the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of the child (like the existing PPL scheme). However, the paid parental leave for fathers and partners is not transferable. This means if the father or partner does not use the two weeks of paid leave then the entitlement is "lost".
Eligible fathers and partners must care for the child, either as the primary carer or jointly with the other parent and must not be working or on paid leave while receiving the payment.
The extension of the PPL to fathers and partners will (for example) give fathers and partners an opportunity to take time off for the birth or welcoming of a new child into the family without having to access other paid entitlements such as annual leave in order to do so.
The payments will be managed by the Department of Human Services. The father and partner pay will be available to eligible full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers who:
- have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) in 10 of the 13 months before the birth; and
- earned $150,000 or less in the previous financial year.
To be eligible, fathers and partners will also have to meet the same work and residency requirements as candidates with the existing PPL scheme.
Fathers and partners can lodge applications with the Department of Human Services up to three months before the birth or adoption of the child. This means that applications can be lodged from 1 October 2012.
To confirm, the payment will be available in addition to any employer-funded paid leave.
If you have any questions in relation to this bulletin then please do not hesitate to contact any of the members of CG Law's workplace relations team.