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Modern Australian households typically involve both parents engaged in occupations outside the home, or a single parent working full or part-time in order to make ends meet. The Australian Government provides Paid Parental Leave for parents or primary carers of newborn children. Paid Parental Leave can be provided for up to 18 weeks.
Paid Parental Leave Eligibility
Paid Parental Leave is available for the primary carer (usually the birth mother) of a child. You will need to meet Australian residence requirements, and earn less than $150,000 during the year prior to the date of the child’s birth. If you are employed, you will need to be on leave or not working for the duration of your Paid Parental Leave. You will also need to satisfy the work test requirements.
You are eligible for Paid Parental Leave if your work is one of the following:
- full time
- part time
- your own business
You may also be eligible if you have several employers, are employed in a family business, have changed jobs or were working overseas.
It’s recommended that persons considering Paid Parental Leave discuss the situation with their employer around three months before commencing the leave. Circumstances vary, and you may wish to begin Paid Parental Leave on the birth date, date of adoption, or at a later date. Your employer will need time to prepare for any changes in the workplace including employment of temporary staff, and will need to register their business for the scheme. More information can be found at Paid Parental Leave scheme for employers.
You will need to supply your employer’s Australian Business Number (ABN) plus contact details in order to avoid any delays in processing your Parental Leave claim. Paid Parental Leave claims can be lodged up to 52 weeks after birth or adoption, however, if you want to receive the full 18 weeks Parental Leave payments your claim must be lodged within 34 weeks of your child’s birth or adoption. You can lodge the paid parental claim online.
Flexible payment dates
Some people want to take Paid Parental Leave as soon as their child is born. Others have alternative care arrangements initially and prefer to defer their payment until a later date. If you choose a start date for Paid Parental Leave that is within 34 weeks of your child birth or adoption you can receive the full 18 weeks worth of payments. If you lodge your claim after the 34 week period the duration of payments will be reduced.
For example, if you lodge your claim after 35 weeks you are entitled to 17 weeks Parental Leave payments, and at 36 weeks you are entitled to 16 weeks of payments.
Parental Leave Pay can be reduced for a number of reasons including:
- you return to work
- leave Australia and no longer satisfy residence requirements
- you cease being the primary carer for your child
Essential information for your claim
In order for your claim to be processed you will need to provide information:
- your income details (not your partners) for the financial year prior to your claim
- passport number
- the date you arrived in Australia if born overseas
- any time spent outside Australia after 1994
- work information for the past 13 months, including unpaid leave and hours worked
- your child’s name and date of birth
- your employer’s ABN and contact details
- your tax file number
- bank account details
- the date you want your Paid Parental Leave period to commence
Once all your documents are processed you will be contacted by the Department of Human Services regarding your payment schedule. Applying for Paid Parental Leave can be done online. More information can be found here.
Paid Parental Leave is the right of every Australian parent or guardian who requires financial assistance while spending valuable time in the formative stage of their child’s upbringing. The system has been designed to benefit individuals, employers and the Australian economy in general.
You can read more about claiming the paid parental leave on the Centrelink website.