The Paid Parental Leave scheme provides a government-funded entitlement for working parents.
Parental Leave Pay will be available to working parents who meet the eligibility criteria. You will have access to Parental Leave Pay if you are the primary carer of a child born or adopted from 1 January 2011. If you are eligible, you will be able to receive Parental Leave Pay at the National Minimum Wage, for up to 18 weeks.
If you think you may be eligible, you will have the choice to receive either Parental Leave Pay or the Baby Bonus depending on which is the best financial decision for your family.
Some Common Questions:
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay if you:
- are the primary carer of a newborn child or the initial primary carer of a recently adopted child
- are an Australian resident
- have met the Paid Parental Leave scheme work test before the birth or adoption occurs,
- have received an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the previous financial year, and
- are on leave or not working from the time you become the child’s primary carer.
The birth mother or the initial primary carer of an adopted child must make the claim for Parental Leave Pay, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The Paid Parental Leave scheme work test
To meet the Paid Parental Leave scheme work test you must have:
- worked for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the birth or adoption of your child
- worked for at least 330 hours in that 10 month period (just over one day a week) with no more than an eight week gap between two consecutive working days.
A working day is a day you have worked for at least one hour.
There are some exceptions to the work test if you cannot meet it due to pregnancy complications and/or premature birth.
You do not need to be working full-time to be eligible for Parental Leave Pay. You may meet the work test even if you:
- are a part-time, casual or seasonal worker
- are a contractor or self-employed
- work in a family business such as a farm
- have multiple employers, or
- have recently changed jobs.
If you work for a family business (such as a farm), you can include your hours of work even if the business is not generating any income, providing you are undertaking the work for financial gain or benefit.
If you think you may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you can use the Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator to help you decide if you want to receive Parental Leave Pay or the Baby Bonus. The Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator will ask you to answer questions about your circumstances and will provide you with a comparison between Parental Leave Pay and the Baby Bonus.
For more detailed information, please visit the Centrelink website.