Changes to the Parental Leave Pay Scheme

Published 30 June 2020 | Updated 5 August 2020

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

Employees can claim PLP for 1 set period and 1 flexible period. 

Previously, employees could only use PLP as one continuous 18 week period. 

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

Parental Leave Pay

The first period is a set period of 12 weeks. This needs to be used within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child, and can’t be split into more than 1 period.

Flexible Parental Leave Pay

The flexible period:

  • is up to 30 days
  • usually starts after the first period has ended 
  • can be used in flexible periods negotiated between the employee and employer 
  • has to be used within 24 months of a child’s birth or adoption.

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 the Parental Leave Pay Scheme

There hasn't been any changes to how PLP is paid. In most cases, PLP payments are made 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.

More information

For information on PLP or to make a claim, go to Services Australia – Parental Leave Pay Scheme external-icon.png.