Paid Parental Leave Fact Sheet

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In the 2009-10 Budget, the Australian Government announced that it will introduce a comprehensive Paid Parental Leave scheme.

This scheme will only apply to you if your child is born or adopted on or after 1 January 2011.

The proposed Paid Parental Leave scheme is subject to Parliament passing the required legislation.
  • Will I get Paid Parental Leave?
  • Will I be eligible for the Paid Parental Leave scheme?
  • Will the Baby Bonus still exist?
  • Will I be able to get the Baby Bonus and other family payments as well as Paid Parental Leave?
  • Will there be an income test?
  • Will I be able to get both Paid Parental Leave and employer-provided maternity leave?
  • Will employers stop providing their paid maternity leave schemes?
  • How much will I get and for how long?
  • When can I apply for Paid Parental Leave?
  • Where can I get more information?

Will I get Paid Parental Leave?

You will be able to get Paid Parental Leave if your child is born or adopted on or after 1 January 2011.

Will I be eligible for the Paid Parental Leave scheme?

Generally, Paid Parental Leave will be for mothers of a newborn child or the parent of an adopted child. To be eligible for Paid Parental Leave, you must be the child’s primary carer and:
  • have worked continuously for at least 10 of the previous 13 months prior to the expected birth/adoption
  • have worked at least 330 hours in that 10 month period (an average of 7.6 hours per week)
  • your income must have been $150,000 or less in the previous financial year.
  • meet the scheme’s residence requirements.
The scheme will cover employees including casual workers, the self-employed and contractors.

Will the Baby Bonus still exist?

Yes. The Baby Bonus will be available for people who do not get Paid Parental Leave, subject to the usual income test.

If you get Paid Parental Leave, you will not be able to get the Baby Bonus, unless you have twins or a multiple birth (e.g. triplets). In the case of twins or a multiple birth, you can get Paid Parental Leave for the first child plus the Baby Bonus for the second and subsequent children.

Will I be able to get the Baby Bonus and other family payments as well as Paid Parental Leave?

If you receive Paid Parental Leave, you will not receive the Baby Bonus (except in the case of twins or multiple births). You will also not receive Family Tax Benefit Part B while you are getting Paid Parental Leave.

Otherwise, you will continue to receive Family Tax Benefit. Paid Parental Leave will be treated as taxable income and may affect entitlement to family assistance and child support. An online estimator will be available to help you decide whether to take Paid Parental Leave or the Baby Bonus.

Will there be an income test?

Yes. You will be able to receive Paid Parental Leave if your adjusted taxable income in the previous financial year was $150,000 or less.

Will I be able to get both Paid Parental Leave and employer-provided maternity leave?

Yes, you will be able to get both employer-provided maternity leave and Paid Parental Leave. You can take Paid Parental Leave before or after employer-provided paid leave, such as recreation leave and employer-provided maternity leave. You can also take Paid Parental Leave at the same time as employer-provided leave.

Will employers stop providing their paid maternity leave schemes?

Employers who provide paid maternity leave through an industrial agreement cannot withdraw that entitlement for the life of that agreement. During bargaining for a new agreement, employers may negotiate with employees to amend existing paid maternity leave provisions in the light of the introduction of the new Paid Parental Leave scheme.

How much will I get and for how long?

An eligible parent can get taxable Paid Parental Leave at the level of the National Minimum Wage (currently $543.78 a week) for a maximum period of 18 weeks. Paid Parental Leave must be used within one year of the child’s birth or adoption.

When can I apply for Paid Parental Leave?

You can apply for Paid Parental Leave up to three months before your child is due to be born or adopted.
The first claims for Paid Parental Leave can be made on 1 October 2010, for children due to be born or adopted on 1 January 2011.

Where can I get more information?

You can download a copy of the booklet on the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme, which contains major decisions about the scheme. Further details will become available as the scheme is implemented.

More information about how the scheme will operate will be available in mid 2010.

(Source Family Assistance Office)

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