Updated November 12th 2013

Legislation has been passed through parliament that will introduce a paid parental leave scheme from 1 January 2011 for all births and adoptions of a child under 16 years of age. The scheme will provide 18 weeks of pay at the minimum wage as determined by the Fair Work Act 2009. The current minimum weekly wage is $569.90. These payments will be taxable income in the hands of the recipient.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The primary caregiver of the new child must pass both the work test and income test. The work test is being continuously employed for 10 out of the previous 13 months for at least 330 hours during the period (approximately 1 day a week). The income test is earning less than $150,000 in the previous year.
  • The twelve months of continuous service requirement still applies for employees to be eligible for twelve months unpaid maternity leave under the National Employment Standards, however the paid and unpaid entitlements are served concurrently. The proportion of parental leave which is paid does not contribute to an employee’s service period for the calculation of long service leave and other entitlements. The government funded paid parental leave scheme is in addition to any paid maternity leave arrangements funded by the employer.

The scheme will be administered by the Family Assistance Office with payments being made to the employer which are then passed onto the eligible employee under normal payroll arrangements. A review of your current payroll system and HR policies may be required to facilitate the new scheme.