The Australian Government administers the paid parental leave scheme through Services Australia. The scheme pays up to 18 weeks’ pay at National Minimum Wage for eligible employees who have primary care of a newborn or newly adopted child. There are upcoming changes to the scheme, that come into effect for employees whose baby is born or whose child enters their care on or after 1 July 2023.
What is changing?
The following changes are being implemented:
- Government funded paid parental leave (up to 18 weeks) will be combined with the current Dad and Partner Pay entitlement (2 weeks’ pay), meaning a couple can receive up to 20 weeks’ pay between them (2 weeks minimum per party).
- Single parents can claim the full 20 weeks’ pay.
- Family income threshold for the scheme will be $350,000 (for both single and partnered parents).
- The eligibility rules for partners or fathers to claim paid parental leave will be broadened.
- Flexibility allowing payment to be shared between parents until the child turns two will occurring, including the ability to claim between periods of paid employment.
- Parents will no longer be required to return to work to claim paid parental leave.
As a business, if you refer to the Government funded paid parental leave scheme in your workplace policies, they may need to be updated to reflect the incoming changes.
On a final note it is also worth mentioning future proposed changes to paid parental leave include increasing leave available to families to 26 weeks by 2026. However, this is yet to be legislated.