Paid parental leave

Employees may be entitled to paid parental leave on top of their unpaid leave entitlements. Paid parental leave can include employer-funded and government-funded schemes.

Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme

The Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme is for working parents of children born or adopted on or after 1 January 2011.
 
The scheme gives eligible employees up to 18 weeks' pay at the National Minimum Wage. This applies to eligible primary carers of newborn or adopted children. The payments are made by the Government to the employer, who then pays it to the employee.

The payments can be paid before, after, or at the same time as existing entitlements such as annual leave, long service leave and employer-funded paid parental leave.

Visit the Centrelink - Paid Parental Leave Scheme External link icon website or call their Family and Parents line on 136 150 for eligibility information and to make a claim.

Dad and Partner Pay

Paid leave for dads and partners started to apply on 1 January 2013. This is up to 2 weeks' pay at the National Minimum Wage for working dads or partners (including same-sex partners).

These payments are made by the Government directly into the employee's bank account once their claim has been finalised.

Visit the Centrelink - Dad and Partner Pay External link icon website or call their Family and Parents line on 136 150 for eligibility information and to make a claim. Claims for Dad and Partner Pay can be made for babies born or adopted on or after 1 January 2013.

Record-keeping

Under the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme, employers have to keep the following records:

  • the amounts of Parental Leave Pay funding received from the Government for each employee and the period these amounts cover
  • the date of each Parental Leave Pay instalment made to their employee
  • the period the payment covers
  • the gross amount of the payment (before tax)
  • a statement identifying that the payments are Parental Leave Pay under the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme
  • if no other payments are made for the period, the net amount of the Parental Leave Pay and the amount of income tax withheld from the payment
  • if other payments (such as annual leave or employer-funded Parental Leave Pay) are made for the period, the total net amount paid for the period (after tax) and total income tax withheld for the pay period
  • the total amount of any deductions made from each Parental Leave Pay instalment.

Employers need to keep these records in addition to their usual Record-keeping requirements.

Pay slips

Employers have to give employees who are getting Parental Leave Pay a pay slip for each payment.

In addition to the usual Pay slip requirements, the pay slips need to specify that the payments made are Parental Leave Pay under the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme.

If no other payments are on the payslip, it must also include:

  • the gross and net amounts of the Parental Leave Pay and the amount of income tax withheld from the payment.

If other payments (such as annual leave or employer-funded Parental Leave Pay) are on the pay slip, it must include:

  • the gross amount of the Parental Leave Pay, as well as the total net amount and income tax withheld for the pay period.

If a deduction from the Parental Leave Pay is made, pay slips must include:

  • the amount of the deduction and the name and bank details of the entity the deduction was made to. 

Note: under the Paid Parental Leave scheme only certain deductions can be taken from Parental Leave Pay. For more information about permitted deductions, visit the Centrelink website External link icon.

What if I haven’t received a payment?

If you have concerns about the payments you’ve received, or if you’ve made a claim but haven’t received the payment from your employer, contact Centrelink’s Family and Parents line on 136 150 first.

Employer-funded paid parental leave

Many employers also provide paid parental leave through Enterprise agreements, contracts of employment or workplace policies. These can help businesses attract and keep talented staff. The amount of leave and pay entitlements will depend on the workplace.

Do employer- funded payments affect entitlements under the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme?

No - employer-funded paid parental leave doesn’t affect an employee’s eligibility for the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme. Similarly, the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme doesn’t replace employer-funded paid parental leave entitlements.

If an employer provides paid parental leave through an enterprise agreement, it applies as long as the agreement applies.

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Page last updated: 17 Sep 2010