Paid parental leave

Changes to the Australian Government Parental Leave Pay Scheme

From 1 July 2020, eligible employees can split their Parental Leave Pay (PLP) so they take it over 2 periods within 2 years.

Employees are able to claim PLP for 1 set period and 1 flexible period. The first period of PLP is available for up to 12 continuous weeks, within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child. The second period of PLP is flexible and available for up to 30 days, usually starting after the first period ends and finishing within 24 months of a child’s birth or adoption.

To learn more, go to Changes to the Parental Leave Pay Scheme.

Employees can get Parental Leave Pay (PLP) from the Australian Government and paid parental leave from their employer.

Employees who get PLP and employer-funded paid parental leave are still entitled to unpaid parental leave.

Australian Government Parental Leave Pay Scheme

Eligible employees who are the primary carer of a newborn or newly adopted child get up to 18 weeks' PLP, which is paid at the National Minimum Wage.

From 1 July 2020, eligible employees can claim PLP for 1 set period and 1 flexible period.

Services Australia external-icon.png manage the PLP payment system.

First period - set Parental Leave Pay

The first PLP period is a set period of 12 weeks. This has to be used in 1 continuous period within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child.

Second period - flexible Parental Leave Pay

The second PLP period allows an employee to use up to 30 days of flexible PLP. The flexible PLP period:

  • can be taken in flexible periods as negotiated by the employee with their employer
  • must be taken within 24 months of the birth or adoption of a child
  • usually starts after the first PLP period ends.

Example: Flexible PLP period

Jane works 5 days a week. After she has a child, she uses her initial 12 set weeks of PLP.

After the 12 weeks, Jane returns to work and enters into an agreement with her employer to work 3 days each week. Jane applies to use flexible PLP on the 2 days each week that she doesn’t work. Jane is then on flexible PLP for 15 weeks, a total of 30 days.

Payment of Parental Leave Pay

In most cases, the Australian Government makes PLP payments to the employer, who then pays the employee. 

PLP from the Australian Government doesn't change paid parental leave from an employer – employees can get both.

Employees can use PLP before, after or at the same time as their paid and unpaid entitlements such as annual leave, long service leave and unpaid parental leave.

For information about eligibility, making a claim and sorting out payments, go to Services Australia - Parental Leave Pay external-icon.png . 

Dad and Partner Pay

Eligible working dads and partners (including same-sex partners) get 2 weeks leave paid at the National Minimum Wage. These payments are made directly to the employee by the Australian Government.

Visit Services Australia - Dad and Partner Pay external-icon.png for information about eligibility and making a claim for Dad and Partner Pay. 

Record-keeping for Parental Leave Pay

In addition to their usual record-keeping requirements, employers that have employees getting Australian Government-funded PLP have to keep the following records: 

  • the amount of PLP funding received from the government for each employee and the period it covers
  • the date each PLP payment was made to the employee
  • the period each payment covers
  • the gross amount of the payment
  • the net amount paid and the amount of income tax withheld (including other payments, if any were made)
  • a statement identifying the payment as PLP under the Australian Government PLP Scheme
  • the amount of any deductions made from each payment. 

Pay slips for Parental Leave Pay

Employees who get PLP have to get a pay slip for each payment. The pay slip has to specify that the payments are PLP under the Australian Government PLP Scheme. See our Pay slips page for more information.

Only certain deductions can be made from PLP under the Australian Government PLP scheme. Visit Services Australia external-icon.png for more information. 

Employer-funded paid parental leave

Employers can provide paid parental leave in enterprise or other registered agreements, employment contracts and workplace policies. The amount of leave and pay entitlements depends on the relevant agreement, contract or policy.

Employer-funded paid parental leave doesn't affect an employee's eligibility for the Australian Government's PLP Scheme. Employees can get both.

Source reference: Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 opens new tab


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