Paid Parental Leave

Paid Parental Leave scheme provides eligible working parents with up to 18 weeks of government-funded Parental Leave Pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage.

Working parents are entitled to up to 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay through the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay. The amount of Parental Leave Pay is at the National Minimum Wage.

The Paid Parental Leave scheme is designed to:

  • provide financial support during the time parents take off work, in the vital early months, to care for their newborn or recently adopted child
  • enhance child and maternal health and development
  • encourage women’s workforce participation
  • promote work/family balance.

The Paid Parental Leave scheme helps employers to:

  • keep valuable and skilled staff by encouraging them to stay connected with the workforce when they become parents
  • improve family friendly workplace conditions
  • increase workforce participation of parents.

An employer will provide Parental Leave Pay if the eligible employee:

  • has worked for the employer for 12 months or more before the expected date of birth or adoption
  • will be employed by the employer for the Paid Parental Leave period
  • is an Australian-based employee, and
  • expects to receive at least eight weeks of Parental Leave Pay.

If an employee does not meet this criteria, the employer may choose if they would like to provide Parental Leave Pay or not. If Parental Leave Pay is not paid by the employer, the Australian Government (through the Department of Human Services) will pay it directly to the employee.

An eligible employee can access up to 18 weeks of government-funded Parental Leave Pay, as well as existing employer-provided paid or unpaid leave.

An employee can take Parental Leave Pay before, during or after any paid or unpaid maternity or parental leave or other employer-funded leave entitlements such as annual leave or long service leave.

Dad and Partner Pay provides eligible working dads or partners with up to two weeks pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage to help them take time off work to support new mothers in their caring role and to be involved in the care of their new baby right from the start.

Dads or partners have to be on unpaid leave or not working to receive the payment.

Unpaid parental leave

Under the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009, an employee employed with the same employer for 12 months or more before the birth or adoption may be entitled to up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. An employee can also request an additional 12 months of unpaid leave.

Want to know more?

More information about the Paid Parental Leave scheme is available at the Department of Human Services’ website.

For information about working entitlements and workplace obligations: