Paid parental leave

Upcoming changes to the paid parental leave scheme

The paid parental leave scheme is changing from 1 July 2023. The information on this page will be updated closer to that date.

In the meantime, read more at Changes to the paid parental leave 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
  • has to be taken within 24 months of the birth or adoption of a child
  • usually starts after the first PLP period ends.

Using flexible Parental Leave Pay

Employees who want to use flexible PLP when they return to work from parental leave need to come to an agreement with their employer about how it will work in their circumstances. Employees and employers can consider:

  • reducing the hours or days of work
  • changing the pattern of work
  • taking additional unpaid leave. 

An employee's unpaid parental leave ends when they return to work, even if they're working less or different hours than they used to.

Example: Requesting flexible PLP 

Kerry works part-time, 4 days a week. After the birth of her child, she uses her initial 12 set weeks of PLP while she’s on parental leave from work. 

After the 12 weeks, Kerry returns to work hoping to access flexible PLP. Kerry and her employer agree that she'll work 2 days per week and use flexible PLP for the other 2 days. They also agree that after her flexible PLP runs out, she’ll return to 4 days of work a week.

Kerry takes her flexible PLP for 2 days each week for the next 15 weeks – a total of 30 days. She then returns to work for 4 days a week as agreed with her employer.

Find out more about: 

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 external-icon.png

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Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

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