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A guide to Parental Leave Pay in Australia – are you eligible?

Paid parental leave for newborn baby in parents handsIn Australia, eligible parents can access 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay following the birth or adoption of their baby.

The scheme was introduced in 2011 to help working parents spend more time at home with a new baby in those vital early months. It is fully government-funded.

The scheme provides eligible parents with up to 18 weeks’ of Parental Leave Pay at the National Minimum Wage. The amount is currently $672.60 per week before tax (correct as of September 2016).

But how do you know if you’re eligible for Parental Leave Pay? How much do you need to work before your baby is born? Are casual and part-time workers eligible? And what about Dad and Partner Pay – will your partner be eligible to receive this as well?

Here we answer your questions about Parental Leave Pay in Australia …

Who is eligible for Parental Leave Pay?

To be eligible for Parental Leave Pay you must:

  • be the primary carer of a newborn or recently adopted child
  • have worked 10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of your child, and
    330 hours in that 10 month period (just more than one day a week) with no more than an 8-week gap between two consecutive working days. You may be eligible if you work full-time, part-time, casually, seasonally, as a contractor or for yourself.
  • meet the Paid Parental Leave income test – have received an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year either before the date of birth or adoption, or the date you claim, whichever is earlier.
  • be on leave or not working from the time you become your child’s primary carer until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period

How much money will you receive in Parental Leave Pay?

Parental Leave Pay is currently $672.60 per week before tax for a maximum of 18 weeks (amount correct as of September 2016).

It is a taxable payment – which means it may affect your existing family assistance entitlements, child support arrangements and tax obligations.

How is the Parental Leave Pay paid to you?

Parental Leave Pay can be paid to you by your employer or directly from the government.

Usually your employer will receive the amount from the government and then pay it to you in your usual pay cycle. This allows them to withhold your usual amount of tax and allow for any other payments or contributions that you regularly make (super, salary sacrifice etc).

You can opt to have the payment paid directly to you from the government. This might be a better option if you’ve decided not to return to your employer, if they are not based in Australia or you haven’t worked for them for long.

You should begin talking to your employer about Parental Leave Pay at least 10 weeks before the date you intend to start your leave.

How much leave are you entitled to?

The scheme provides you with 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay but does not give you an entitlement to leave. You need to work out your maternity leave entitlements with your employer as it is based on how long you’ve worked for them and any company policies they have. Make sure you have this conversation with at least 10 weeks’ notice.

Can you do any work while you’re receiving Parental Leave Pay?

If you return to work before the end of your Parental Leave Pay period you are no longer eligible to receive the payment.

However, there is a provision in the scheme that allows you to keep in touch with your employer and ease your transition back into the workplace. The Keeping In Touch provision allows you to access 10 ‘keeping in touch’ days while you are receiving Parental Leave Pay. A paid work activity of ONE hour or more on a day counts as ONE Keeping in Touch day, and counts towards the 10-day limit.

Your employer is required to pay you for your time. But a Keeping in Touch day won’t affect your Parental Leave Pay payments and won’t extend your leave. It should be to:

  • refresh your skills
  • transition back to the workplace
  • become familiar with new or updated processes, or
  • be involved in planning discussions or meetings that may affect your role

What about if you don’t work – is there a payment for non-working mums?

The Baby Bonus was scrapped in 2014 but you may be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement.

This payment is available to parents who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A.

The Newborn Upfront Payment is a lump sum of $532. The Newborn Supplement amount depends on your income and how many children you have. The maximum amount is a maximum of $1,595.23 for your first child or a maximum of $532.35 for subsequent children (amounts correct as of September 2016). This amount is added to your Family Tax Benefit Part A as a supplement so you’ll receive fortnightly if that’s how you’ve chosen to receive Family Tax A.

READ: Our guide to government family benefit payments for info on all government family benefits

Can your partner access the Dad and Partner Pay?

Eligible dads or partners can access two weeks of government-funded pay after the birth of a baby or adoption of a child.

To be eligible the dad or partner must:

  • provide care for a newborn or recently adopted child
  • meet an income test
  • have worked at least 10 of the 13 months before the date their Dad and Partner Pay period starts, and 330 hours in that 10 month period (just more than a day a week) with no more than an 8 week gap between two consecutive working days
  • be on unpaid leave or not working while getting the payment
  • make a claim within 52 weeks of the child’s birth or adoption

Dad and Partner Pay is $672.60 per week before tax (correct as of September 2016). The government pays the money into a nominated bank account after the child is born and the claim finalised.

Dad and Partner Pay does not change leave entitlements and your partner should check with their employer as to what leave they are entitled to.



This article is intended as a general guide to Parental Leave Pay and other family benefit payments in Australia. To check your eligibility based on your own circumstances contact the Department of Human Services.

Image credit: inarik/123RF Stock Photo

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237 comments so far -

  1. Hi Bubhub,

    I am hoping you can help me, I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with my second child and filling in the PPL claim online. I am currently employed and will remain so while on leave, however i don’t want my employer to pay my PPL as their pay structure is annoying and I would rather the fortnightly payments straight from Centrelink. Does the online form automatically request that my work make the payments? I can’t find anywhere to specifically state what I want either way, it just asks for my employer details as I am still employed.

    • Hi Stirlow16! Congratulations on your pregnancy. Not long to go now. Very exciting times ahead!

      I am afraid though that I am not too familiar with the form. From what I can tell though your employer has to pay the PPL to you. There are circumstances where they don’t (which you may have already read) but I think Centrelink is pushing for it to come from the employer in most cases. They probably don’t ask on the form because they don’t want to give people to option.

      Sorry I didn’t have better news for you! Of course though I am not an expert on this so it is best if you check with Centrelink (sorry!).

      All the best. Take care xx

  2. Hi,
    I was wondering if you could help with my query. I have read and re-read everything on paid parental leave work test and keeping in touch days, but am still unsure of this…

    Do keeping in touch days qualify for the paid parental leave work test, since they are paid days?

    I have been permanently employed for over 6 years, and am currently receiving the government paid parental leave. This is about to run out, however I have already fallen pregnant with another child. I am not in a position to return back to work, as I have temporarily relocated for my partners work and thus have applied to take 24 months maternity leave.
    If I ‘keep in touch’, say once a month and get paid for those days, will I qualify for paid parental leave with the next child?

    The minimum hours test would have been met during the paid parental leave period. And keeping in touch every month there after would ensure no two consecutive working days are more than 8 weeks apart.

    Does it sound doable – or is it just wishful thinking.

    • Hi BJ! Congrats on your new baby and your new pregnancy! What an exciting time!

      I have had a look at this question and from what I can see (and I’m no expert, so this will need to be clarified of course) the period of Parental Leave Pay itself counts as work as far as the ‘work test’ eligibility criteria goes. That is regardless of whether you do ‘keeping in touch’ days or not.

      Have a look at this page (link is below) and scroll down to the examples at the bottom. There’s one called: Inclusion of a previous Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay period in the work test and in that example the woman uses her Parental Leave Pay time to meet the work test. The difference is that her work is after her leave and yours will be before but still, if you meet the criteria (10 out of the 13 months before due date) then I would think that it shouldn’t make a difference that your work is before your leave. Anyway – here’s the link:

      Hope this helps. All the best. Take care xx

  3. Hi there, I have recently found out I’m pregnant and I’m just starting to research what Government Paid Parental Leave I am eligible for and when I can leave work etc. I have been employed for two years without any unpaid leave gaps.

    Birth Date vs Due Date

    Does this mean I can then have unpaid leave a whole 3 months (12 weeks) before the due date?

    Or do you have to shorten it in case you are overdue, as it is calculated on the birth date?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi BB. Congrats on your pregnancy. Many exciting times ahead!!

      Based on what you’ve told me you should be entitled to Maternity Leave and also meet the Government’s Parental Leave Pay ‘work test’ (there are other criteria to meet too).

      It is important to remember that these are two separate things. Maternity leave is just leave (with no pay, in most cases) and the Parental Leave Pay is just money (not an entitlement to take leave).

      There’s more about Maternity Leave in this article:

      To answer your question about leave … here are a few things you need to consider.

      1. To meet the ‘work test’ for Parental Leave Pay you need to have no more than an 8 week gap where you are not working (this means that if you have 12 weeks off before the due date you will not be eligible for the payment – unless baby arrives prematurely or there is a health issue – in which case you’ll need letters from your doctor and employer).
      2. Maternity Leave is an entitlement to 12 months off work. You can begin this leave 6 weeks before your due date (or earlier if your employer agrees or later if you have a letter from your doctor). You still need to be mindful of the 8-week rule though if you want to be eligible for the Parental Leave Pay.

      I hope this helps to answer your question. Please come back to ask if you have any more. Take care xx

  4. Hey.
    I hope you can help me, I’ve been working full time for 5 years, I was permanent and then they had pay cuts so I was then put as a contractor in the mining industry. We are wanting to have a baby, I want to know would I be entitled to any help from the government as I don’t get paid annual, sick or maternity leave from my employer as I’m only contracting but still work exactly the same hours/ shift work but get paid a lot more then half the amount as my husband who does the same thing as me but a permenent. Does my husband’s income which is over 150,000 affect my chances of being eligible for PPL?

  5. hi,
    I am due for 1st of march and i am entitled for PPL which is already approved and my employer is also providing 9 weeks Paid maternity leave. I have a confusion that can i take both PPL from government and paid maternity from my employer at same time. OR can i take PPL from government and annual leave pay at same time.

    Thanks in Advance

    • Hi Maria! Congratulations on your pregnancy. Not long to go now.

      I wish I could answer your question but I am not sure on this. I have heard that you can’t take them at exactly the same time but someone in this thread claimed that they were able to. So I am really not sure, sorry!

      Can I suggest that you ask your question in our forum? There are plenty of people there who might have recently done this and might be able to help you out. Also if you do get a definite answer, I would love to hear what it is. Here is the link to a forum section specifically about maternity leave and Paid Parental Leave:

      Sorry I couldn’t help more. Take care xx

  6. My pregnancy due date 10 March. I have already applied centerlink PPL claim. I need to provide a written letter to my employer about expected leave and return date to work.

    I am bit confuse about the start of payment and 18 weeks leave, it said will start from expected birth date.

    I am planning to leave work 17-Feb.

    Should I include return date 17-Feb + 18 weeks, or 10Mar+18 weeks to get the maximum 18 weeks payment and spend as much time with new bubs?

    • Hi Naz,

      Congratulations on your pregnancy. Not long to go now.

      Hopefully I can clear up some of your questions.

      Firstly, maternity leave from your employer is different and unrelated to the Government’s PPL.

      You should be entitled to 12 months maternity leave from your employer (if you’ve worked their for 12 months). This is most likely unpaid leave. You will need to write a letter to your employer starting that you would like to leave work on February 17.

      However, to work out when you would like to return to work you’ll need to know how long you will be able to afford not to work. The government’s Parental Leave Pay will provide 18 weeks of leave for you but you won’t receive this money until at least after the baby is born because you’ll need Proof of Birth in order to finalise your claim for Parental Leave Pay.

      To get the full amount of PPL you’ll need to have 18 weeks off AFTER your baby is born. So – 10MAR+18 weeks. You will have to work out how you will fund your time off work before baby is born as you won’t be receiving the Parental Leave Pay until afterwards.

      Hope that makes sense. Feel free to come back if you have any more questions. Take care xx

      • Many thanks for your prompt response.

        I have been working with this company almost 8 yrs, so would be eligible for 12 months maternity leave.

        However, don’t planning to out of work for long period of time. Thanks for your clarification, will consider 10MAR+18 weeks at this stage.

  7. Hi

    I applied for parental pay back in July and had my baby overseas in oct I was advised that it had been assessed and once my baby was born I just had to send in their birth cert which I have done. I am still on maternity leave from work but I’m still overseas and not due to return to Australia until June. Not sure what the delay is with the payment or why I may not get it??

    • Hi Lou! Thanks for your question and congrats on your new baby.

      I am afraid however that as far as I know you would not be eligible because you were not living in Australia when your baby was born. It is one of the eligibility requirements. This is from their website:

      To be eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you must satisfy residence requirements. When your child is born or adopted, you must be living in Australia and:

      have Australian citizenship
      hold a permanent visa
      hold a special category visa, or
      hold a temporary visa; for example, a partner provisional, interdependency or temporary protection visa

      If you hold a temporary visa, read about payments paid while outside Australia.

      You must continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment.

      Sorry I didn’t have better news for you! Take care xx

  8. Hi just wondering if you could help at all, my workplace pays 12 weeks maternity leave but I miss out on it by about 2 weeks, as I had not been with them for 12months before the birth date (baby is due end of January 2017 and I started with them start of February 2016). I have applied for PPL, but wondering if my baby is overdue and comes after the February start date would my employer have to pay me my 12 weeks maternity leave as well? Or as we signed off on my 12mths unpaid maternity leave is that all I will be entitled to?
    Thank you

    • Hi SPL,

      Congrats on your pregnancy! Not long to go now!!

      Firstly, how tight of your employer!! I understand that there has to be some cutoff but two weeks! How disappointing that they couldn’t accommodate you in this circumstance.

      Secondly I am not really sure of what would happen if you were to go overdue. I would have assumed (though correct me if I am wrong) that you would already have an end date where you’ll be stopping work and this means that you won’t be ‘working’ for that extra time in any case. I would think that if you’ve already signed off on the unpaid leave then that’s what you’d get. It would be a good question to put to the HR department (if there is one) I would be interested to see what they say.

      I am just super disappointed that they couldn’t be a bit more flexible for you in the first place!

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, all the best for the weeks and months (and years!) ahead. Take care of yourself xx

      • Thank you for your reply. My Maternity leave start date was 9th January, so 2 weeks before baby is ‘due’ (i had been given 2 due dates a week apart and they went with the earlier one) but my 12mths in the position would have been 8th February, and if baby was due on or after that I would have been entitled..

        I didnt know that they could choose to waive the (just over) 2 weeks- I just thought I was lucky that they would have held my position for my 12 months unpaid leave as I hadnt been with the company for the year.

        I might email HR and ask – thats if the baby does decide he/she wants to bake a little longer!

        Thanks for your help 🙂

        • Hi SPL.

          Thanks for clearing that up. And if you hear back from your HR I would be interested to know how it all works in this situation.

          You are right – you are lucky to have been offered maternity leave – I suppose they didn’t really have to do that given that technically you hadn’t made the 12 months. So they have made allowances for you there – just didn’t want to extend it that little bit further and pay you too! It is always up to the company (as long as they aren’t taking away your entitlements) and there’s room to negotiate. But perhaps your bosses have to follow through on policy put in place by head office or something (if it is a larger company, I imagine they can be very black and white on issues like this).

          Anyway, thanks again! Let us know.

  9. Hi
    I’m a bit confused about the double dipping – could you please clarify? Does it mean that government must pay 18 weeks but employer can provide extra if they wish, but are not required to? and do many employers pay more than minimum wage rate?

    Thank you

    • Hi Soph12! Thanks for your comment.’Double-dipping’ was the government’s way of describing the current situation where a woman might be eligible for the government’s Parental Leave Pay as well as parental leave offered by their employer. The government does not believe that woman who receive employer leave pay should receive the government pay as well.

      Not all employers offer maternity leave payments. In fact, many do not. And they are not obliged to. An employer IS obliged to offer 12 months maternity leave (which is just leave, as in time off work, not paid leave) to workers who are entitled to receive it. If a company DOES provide paid maternity leave, the amount would vary from company to company. It is often a certain number of weeks at full pay (or twice at half pay). You would have to check with your employer as to exactly what they offer.

      At the moment, even if your employers DOES offer paid maternity leave, you can still access the government’s Parental Leave Pay (provided you meet all the eligibility criteria). This is 18 weeks at the minimum wage.

      Hope this helps clear things up for you! Take care xx

  10. Hi there,

    I’m expecting with my first child and it’s all very exciting!!

    We’re in the middle of all the planning and I’m wondering about the PPL – does my husband’s salary affect my eligibility to receive the PPL?



    • Hi Kate. Congrats on your pregnancy! Yes, very exciting times!

      The Parental Leave Pay is based on your salary only. You need to have received an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year either before the date of birth or adoption or the date you claim, whichever is earlier.

      Hope this helps. Take care xx

  11. This is all really helpful info- thank you!

    I am due with my first baby in late march 2017. I’m hoping to claim PPL (together with a limited amount of employer funded leave) shortly after that to help fund a year away from paid work.

    My issue is that I haven’t yet lodged my 2015-2016FY tax, mostly because I know I will have a large tax debt to pay. Is it possible to apply for PPL without having lodged your previous year’s tax? And/or, am I still eligible to get PPL if I have a tax debt that I’m slowly paying off to the ATO with a payment plan?

    • Hi Ora, Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your pregnancy.

      I am so sorry that I’ve taken so long to reply. I’ve been away for Christmas and we had no phone or internet access. Yes! Such a place still exists in Australia. Was nice to hear the phone start beeping on our drive home though!

      Anyway – perhaps you’ve already found the answer to your question. If you have please let us know. Because I am afraid I am not sure of the answer myself. I would GUESS however that you WOULD need to lodge your tax return in order to apply for the Parental Leave Pay. I cannot see anything in the eligibility criteria that says you cannot apply if you have a tax debt. I would think that if you’re eligible, then you are eligible. The very worst thing that could happen (and I doubt it would) would be that they’d use the PPL to pay your tax debt off. I really don’t think that is what would happen though.

      Please if you do get an answer come back to let us know.

      All the best for the coming months. Take care xx

  12. Hi bubhub!

    We are currently pregnant with our second baby, and I had planned on working until 37/38 weeks and then taking my 14 weeks maternity leave from work, and then topping it up to 18 with the PPL before returning to work.
    This pregnancy is having some problems and I doubt my doctor will allow me to continue to work that late, and I doubt I will be physically able to either.
    My question is:

    Can I claim my 14 weeks of maternity and then claim full PPL (of which I will only need about 9/10 weeks)?

    We had everything planned out so well, but now with these problems and with government debating about limiting PPL so women can only ‘top-up’ to 18 weeks (and not double-dip. sheesh), I’m pretty stressed. Did the new PPL legislation pass?


    • Hi Sara! Congrats on your pregnancy – sorry to hear that you’re having some issues.

      And all this government double-dipping talk probably isn’t helping either!

      So far though, nothing has changed so you are still able to access both if you’re eligible.

      There is one thing though. To be eligible for the PPL you cannot have more than 8 weeks off work without pay in a row. If you finish work due to pregnancy complications you might have more than 8 weeks off. If so you can apply for circumstances. You’ll need a letter from your doctor to confirm that you’re unable to work as well as a letter from your employer to confirm that you had intended to work up until you were 37/38 weeks. There’s some more info here:

      Also – I am pretty sure that you can’t get your Parental Leave Pay before the baby is due so perhaps you will have to talk to your employer about using your maternity leave to help fund your time off before your baby arrives. I am not really sure of how that works exactly.

      I hope this has helped somewhat. Sorry that I took so long to reply. I have been on my Christmas break in a place where there was no internet or mobile access! Was a big change!

      Take care. Rest up! xx

      • Thank for getting back to me! Gosh all these guidelines get confusing.

        Does it still count as time off without pay if I am receiving maternity leave from my employer?

        I was planning on using my maternity leave up first, because my pay rate is higher than the ppl scheme. So I would use my 14 weeks (starting from 34/36 weeks gestation at the earliest) and when that runs out switch to ppl for 9 or ten weeks.

        • Hi Sara! Yes – so confusing! As far as I know it has to be unpaid leave so if you’re being paid then you’re still technically employed and should meet the work test. I’m not 100 per cent sure on that though. I know it to be the case if you’re on holidays for example and taking annual leave. I’m not sure that it applies to maternity leave but I would think it should.

          In any case if you’re leaving at 34 weeks you should still make it within the 8-week limit. And if you don’t, then you can always still get those letters from doctor/employers to make sure.

          Can I ask why you’re not applying for the full rate of Parental Leave Pay? Are you expected back at work?

          • I work in the school system, so I will only take term 2 and term 3 off and be back at work for the start of term 4- I was only going to take half of term 2 but my pelvic floor muscles and vaginal walls have collapsed so I’m already on strict lifting and exercise restraints. I’m a bit nervous about losing my job altogether if I take more time off than that; I feel that this way, if I am back for term 4 of this year, there has to be a very good reason to not renew my contract for the 2018 school year.

            My husband and I were both fired from our jobs (same employer) when we found out we were pregnant with our first child. I had no symptoms and was still working 12 hour days without a problem. We ended up homeless for a while. I ended up finding work, and still managing to deal with our horses even though heavily pregnant, and we got back on our feet. This time around we have a mortgage!!
            I know several women that have been fired too, or lied to about being able to work pregnant and unfortunately, the women believed them. I’ve been able to help them out with the legality around that… If I have problems this time you can bet I’ll be a bit more vicious! haha

          • Oh wow. That’s terrible – not to mention illegal. Glad to hear that you’re now able to help others out though, after your experience. And yes, I imagine you’ll be right on it if anyone tries anything like that again! Good for you!

            Hope it all goes well. Take care xx

  13. Hi,

    I had my first son in September 2016. I’m due to go back to work 1st of March 2017. We would like to plan to have baby number 2 in the next month or so (we would like a very close age gap!) My question is, if I’ve claimed ppl for September 2016…..could I then claim again one year later in September 2017? I will have been back to work only 6 months since last ppl. Sorry if that is confusing….

    • Hi Jess! That is a little confusing 🙂 But it all good. The good news is that you can claim previous periods of Parental Leave Pay as ‘work’. So if you work backwards from September you’ll have worked for six months (if you start in March) and have four months of Parental Leave Pay (which means you’ll meet the rule that means you need to work 10 out of the 13 months before the due date of Baby #2). The only problem is the gap between the Parental Leave Pay and starting back at work. I am thinking that you’ll have almost two months unpaid between Parental Leave Pay running out and work starting. The rule is that you cannot have more than 8 consecutive weeks of unemployment if you want to be eligible. As I’m not sure of your exact dates, I cannot really tell if you’d have more or less than 8 weeks. It is worth making sure that it is less than 8 weeks otherwise you’ll miss out.

      Hope this helps. Come back to ask more questions if you have them. All the best xx

  14. Hi, great to see this post. A quick question,  who pays for the paid parental leave? it says that its govt funded but then theres option for employers to pay it through centrelink? just wondering if my employer has to do anything from their end before I make a claim?

    many thanks

    • Hi mlove! Happy to help 🙂

      First of all the government provides the money to pay for Parental Leave Pay.

      BUT – in most circumstances – they provide it to your employer who then distributes it to you in your usual pay cycle. They do it like this because it is a taxable income and your employer can calculate how much tax is normally taken out (as well as anything else they take out for you – HELP debts etc).

      There are circumstances where your employer does NOT have to provide the payment – and it can come from Centrelink directly. Basically if you do NOT meet the criteria below:

      Your employer WILL provide your payment in your usual pay cycle if you:

      have worked for them for 12 months or more before the expected date of birth or adoption – for Australian Public Service (APS) employees, all APS employment is included in the employment period
      will be their employee until at least the end of your Paid Parental Leave period
      are an Australian-based employee, and
      expect to receive at least 8 weeks of Parental Leave Pay

      If you don’t meet these criteria, your employer WON’T BE REQUIRED to provide your payment. However, they can still choose to provide it to you if you both agree for this to happen.

      So – your employer does have some stuff to do – so you should have a chat with them before you make your claim. You’ll need to have a chat to them anyway to arrange your leave. This needs to be done at least 10 weeks before you intend to take leave.

      Here’s some more info on what employers are required to do:

      Hope this helps somewhat – if you have further questions please come back to ask!

      Take care xx

  15. Hi everyone!
    I’m an independent consultant for direct sales company. When I start receiving PPL from the Government will I still be able to do Direct Selling? Or does it classify as a job or hobby?

    • Hi Aian! Thanks for your question but I am not 100 per cent sure on this one and I would hate to give incorrect advice. I know that in some cases these types of jobs are considered ‘hobbies’ as far as the tax office goes, but that doesn’t necessarily transfer over to Parental Leave Pay. I would be inclined to think that if you are earning money from this than it would be considered ‘paid work’ and they make it clear that you are not able to participate in ‘paid work’ while receiving Parental Leave Pay. BUT I could be SO wrong 🙂 Please give Centrelink a call to clarify this and if you do would you mind coming back to let us know what they say? A lot of others in your position would be very appreciative! Thanks and all the best xx

  16. Hi there!

    I’m so happy I’ve stumbled across this thread because I’ve been a bit confused about the PPL scheme- I hope my questions haven’t already been asked!

    I received the PPL payment 2 years ago with my first child.. I’m now planning the next bub and hoping to get pregnant around April next year. I haven’t worked since before my daughter was born but I’ve been wanting to start selling handmade goods from home as a little business-I sew baby clothes and toys.. Can anyone tell me if this counts as employment and if so, what paperwork is required to qualify me? I think there is a bit of a grey area between something like this being classed as a hobby or as an enterprise depending on the intention of making an income from it..
    My husband runs his own business as a sole trader carpenter and he suggested that he might be able to pay me to do his books as another option.. Any idea of what sort of documentation is required by centrelink is greatly appreciated! I’ve poured over the website but it doesn’t go into much detail and I was thinking I might need to make an appointment with them or maybe with an accountant?

    Many thanks for the info in this thread, it’s soo super helpful and greatly appreciated! Xx

    • Hi Tess! Glad to be of service. Turns out that you’re not the only one confused about PPL 🙂

      Looks like you’ve done your research already and you’re right about the hobby/business idea. It does all depend on the intention. And I am not really sure how you go about proving ‘intention’ in this instance. But if you were going down this track you would have to treat it like a business (register it, have appropriate paper work etc), log your hours (as you would need 330 hours in 10 months to be eligible for PPL and they could ask for proof of this) and work with the intention of making some money from this.

      You could also work for your husband. And again you would have to do it properly – document your hours etc.

      You can do two jobs and together if they add up to 330 hours then you can use them both to qualify. You just need to have worked 10 of the 13 months before the birth of your child, and 330 hours in that 10 month period, which is just over 1 day a week, with no more than an 8 week gap between 2 consecutive working days

      I’m sorry that I don’t know much about documentation. You would probably be best to just call centrelink to double check this. Please if they do clarify this I’d be very interested to know the answer so would love it if you could come back to let us know.

      Hope this helps a little. Take care xx

      • Thank you so much! I will call centrelink tomorrow and find out the nitty gritty and I’ll get back to you thanks again for taking the time to reply and for helping other mums like me make sense of it all! Xx

  17. Hi there,
    I am just wanting clarification on the 10 month period of work point. I am due on the 13th of March, have been working full time before now, finished on the 21st of November with two weeks annual leave, what is the date that I calify for the 10 months? and is annual leave considered as employment time?
    If I work in temp positions, is this classified as employment?
    Any clarification would be appreciated and recommendation of what I do at this point. Thank you.

    • Hi AB! Congrats on your pregnancy. Not tooooo much longer to go 🙂

      To answer your question … you have to have worked for 10 out of the 13 months prior to your due date. So with a due date of March 13 2017 that 13 month period began on February 2016 and ends on March 13. You need to have worked for 10 months within those dates without an unpaid break of more than 8 weeks. If you have had annual leave for the past two weeks then your ‘unpaid leave’ period starts this week. If you don’t work from now until your birth you won’t be eligible because you’ll have approx 12 weeks off in a row and you can’t have more than 8 weeks.

      Temporary positions can count though so if you pick up work between now and then you may still qualify – it does depend also on how many hours etc you do. It gets quite complicated and I’m not too sure about the specific. I would hate to give you wrong information.

      Also if you’ve finished work earlier than expected (not sure if this is the case in your situation or not but will mention it in case) you may be able to have special consideration. You need letters from your doctor and your employer.

      There is more detail on this page:

      And feel free to come back if you have any more questions.

      Thanks and all the best xx

      • Thank you for your reply, I can get temp work this month but am still a little confused as to the day I will need to work until if the baby is due on the 13th of March, I have already worked over 1,200 hours during the 13 month period from Feb 2016.

        Kind Regards

        • Hmmm…

          Actually, now that I’ve looked into this I am also a bit confused (I am sure that’s not what you want to hear!)

          Initially I thought this: that you have to meet the whole ‘no more than 8 weeks off unpaid’ criteria. That means that if you stop all work completely after January 16 then you should be eligible (because that is 8 weeks).

          But if you have already met the requirement within the first 10 months (Feb 13-Dec 13) of the 13-month period, does it matter that you take 3 months off before the birth? I really can’t say with certainty. Sorry!!! You should definitely check with them. None of the examples on the link I gave you account for this situation (taking more than 8 weeks at the end) so it isn’t exactly clear.

          Please if you do get clarification on this from Centrelink please come back to let us know!

          Thanks and sorry that I couldn’t be of more help!

          • Hi, I agree and none of the examples show casual workers who have many gaps throughout the year etc, which I think would help clarify things

          • Hi, just letting you know you were correct in the initial thought, you cannot have more that eight weeks
            (52 days) in the entire 13 month period, so that means you have to work up to eight weeks before the baby is due even if is a day or two and you qualify in other areas.

          • Hi AB! Thanks for coming back to clarify this! I am a little relieved – yesterday I started to think about all the people I’d told that to! I started to feel really bad in case I had misled them.

            Hope this info helps you too. Does that mean you’ll need to pick up some casual work in January to qualify? Hope it all goes well for you. Thanks again for coming back and letting us all know. Take care xx

  18. Hi,

    Help some advice, I am 14 weeks preg 🙂 and the due date is 31st May 2017.
    i am royally confused abt how the paid parental leave works.
    Currently i have a full time job and have my own partnership business too. i atleast work abouot 15hrs minimum a week on my business from home. its fairly at a start up state. Due to my health i am thinking of resigning end on Jan 2017 and work on my business from home.
    Can i still be eligible for self employed paid parent leave ???
    what kinda doc or proof is required.
    Appreciate some advice.
    thankyou heaps

  19. Hi. I’m not sure if I’m just having a moment but i just wanted to clarify around my entitlement to government paid parental leave and job security. I meet the working requirements but i might potentially be changing employers and I’m only 5 weeks pregnant. If this happens and i only want to take the 18 week government paid parental leave, and intend on returning straight after, will my new employer of less than 12 months still have to keep my job available for me to return to? I understand they don’t have to when you are taking additional maternity leave and have been with them for less than 12 months, but i only want the government PPL 18 weeks leave. Thank you

    • Hi Meg – congrats on your pregnancy! Very exciting! Now, you are not just having a moment. That is a very good question.

      Ultimately your employer can decide whether or not to allow you to take this leave. Technically if you change employers you are not entitled to maternity leave as you haven’t worked there for 12 months. But thankfully it is not cut and dry like the government’s Parental Leave Pay – you can negotiate leave with your employers and if they’re happy for you to take the time off (it is unpaid leave, as far as they are concerned) and they’re happy to have you return to your job once that period is over then that is fine. So, technically they don’t HAVE to but if they want to they can allow this.

      Hopefully it works out. You’ll need to have the conversation with them fairly early on. You should apply at least 10 weeks before your due date.

      Hope this helps. All the best for the coming months. Look after yourself xx

  20. hi, i was wondering if you could help with a question. i tried to ask in person while at centrelink but i was met with a blank stare and just told i could apply for paid parental leave on their computers or at home :/

    i was wondering if i calculated my work from the beginning of the 13 month period, if i complete the hours within this time frame and end the 10 month period with a 8 week unpaid break, since it is not more than 8 weeks will i still meet the work requirements?

    i was put into a siutation where i needed to finish up work to complete my university unpaid internship so was unable to continue to work.

    if you are unsure- will centrelink verify that i meet the work requirements before approving my application?

    i submitted it yesterday but i am worried that i would not meet the requirements even though i put down that i did and dont want to be put into a position where i end up owing them money if i do no actually meet the work requirements.

    thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions-which is more than i can say for some of the centrelink workers :/

    • Hi kj

      Congrats on your pregnancy and sorry for the slow reply!! I would not worry. The rule is that it should be no more than 8 weeks so if it was exactly 8 weeks then you should be fine. Once they approve it, it will be approved so I wouldn’t worry about them changing their mind after the fact either.

      Sounds like it is all getting close. Best of luck xx

      • thank you so much for the reply!

        i really appreciate you taking the time to reply and helping calm some of my first baby stress!

        not long out all. im counting down the days 🙂

        • No worries kj! The last thing you need now is to stress about money! Best of luck for the coming days and weeks (and months and years too!). Enjoy your precious newborn and this short but beautiful time in both your lives. xx

  21. Hi all, just wondering if I’m eligible for the ppl? I’ve worked 30-40 hours a week for most weeks for the last 3 years, but I have changed jobs several times during the last 10 months. I was also unemployed for 10 days at the start of the year (within the 13 month period) I have also taken unpaid leave (as had no annual or sick days saved) during this time, but have always returned to work after, so always employed if that makes sense. I am about to take a position with less hours (20-30) a week but there will be a 2 week unpaid gap as they close over Christmas. I intend on working until the baby is due in this new position and my employer is very supportive of the pregnancy. I am very scared though that I won’t be eligible seeing as I have had short terms of leave without pay during this time. (shortest being a day, longest will be 2 weeks)

    Hope this makes sense!

    • Hi Paige! Congrats on your pregnancy. Sounds like you’ve had a busy year!

      The good news is that I would definitely be applying for the Parental Leave Pay if I were you.

      From what you have described above you should meet the “Work Test”. The two things you’re concerned about – the different jobs and the periods of unpaid leave – should still be fine. It is of no consequence to the Parental Leave Pay that you have changed jobs. And as long as you are not out of work for more than eight weeks consecutively then this is fine also.

      So, as long as you meet all the other criteria (income test etc) then you should be right.

      The only issue is – not related directly to Parental Leave Pay – is that your current employer is not obliged to give you maternity leave (that is just the entitlement to take the time off (at least 12 months off), it is not to do with money). Usually an employee must be working for the company for at least 12 months to be eligible. Luckily though, this is flexible and up to the employer to make a decision. Sounds like you have a very supportive employer, so you may have already worked something out.

      All the best xx

  22. Hi! Thanks for all the assistance on the various questions you have been provided here!
    I try to read a similar case to my question but couldnt find it so decided to ask you myself 🙂
    Im 34 weeks pregnant and entitled to paid leave as I worked full time non-stop for the past years.
    However my husband does not have a paid job for the past year. He will be involved on the baby care so I was wondering wheter he is entitled to any goverment payment?

    Thanks again for the help!

    • Hi Juli!

      Thanks your question and congratulations on your pregnancy.

      The most obvious payment for Dads is the Dad and Partner Pay (it is two weeks at minimum wage) but to receive this payment you must have been working. There are some exemptions to this and as I am not sure why your husband hasn’t had a paid job I will include them here in case he falls into on of these categories:

      The following activities also count as work:

      – employment at an Australian Disability Enterprise
      – operating a business while receiving assistance under the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme
      – farm labour or operating a business while receiving an Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment
      – jury service, and
      – Defence Reservist work

      Periods of workers’ or accident compensation or similar payments related to employment can also count as work.

      Otherwise there is not much, given that you are the primary carer. If you go back to work early – before the 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay are over – you may be able to transfer the remainder of your leave to him.

      And if you both aren’t earning much once your baby is born I would also investigate your eligibility for Family Tax A and B.

      Hope that helps. Take care xx

  23. This scheme is so discriminatory. The mother is initially considered the primary carer. If the female is a high income earner the father cannot get anything. But if the mother is married to a high income earner she can still get the payment. This policy just encourages mothers to be the ones that have to stay home and it’s ridiculous that the real assessment is only on the mothers income.

  24. Hi there,

    I am due 20 November, and I’ve worked over 330 hours from 2 November 2015 to 11 August 2016 casually. It is 41 weeks and 9 1/2 months.

    Am I eligible to get the PPL?


    • Hi Kim! Congrats on your pregnancy! Almost there. Very exciting!

      Unfortunately though I don’t think I have very good news for you. You are probably not eligible because you must be working continuously for 10 out of the 13 months before your due date (and you worked just less than that) – with no more than an eight-week gap on not working. You stopped work in August so that is about 12 weeks.

      The 8-week gap is based on not being employed – ie unpaid. So if you had paid leave after that August 11 date then you can count that as being employed.

      Also if you stopped work due to pregnancy complications and you would have otherwise continued working to a point where you would have been eligible then you may still be (with letters from your doctor and employer).

      Otherwise if you aren’t then you should investigate your eligibility for Family Tax Benefits and the Newborn Supplement and Upfront Payment. It isn’t as much as the Parental Leave Pay but it is better than nothing and will help with baby-related expenses.

      All the best for these next weeks… Take care xx

  25. Does anyone know if you’re eligible to the paid parental entitlements if you’ve worked over 330 hours but over an 8-9month period or do the hours have to be spread over 10 months? I am due mid April 2017 and was working three days a week up until 20tj October but have now moved to a remote town with limited work. I also got paid out 50hours annual leave.
    Any help would be great.

    • Hi Jade,

      Congrats on your pregnancy and thanks for your question.

      I am afraid though that if you don’t work from now on you will not meet the ‘work test’ – basically because the rule is that you must be in paid employment for 10 out of the 13 months without a break of more than eight weeks. If it has been less than eight weeks since you left your job you might still be eligible if you found work in the new town you’re living in.

      If not, you should investigate your eligibility for Family Tax Benefit A – which includes a newborn supplement after the birth of a baby. It isn’t much compared to the Parental Leave Pay but is better than nothing.

      Sorry I couldn’t have brought you better news! Take care xx

  26. Hi there,

    My son was born in September 2013 and that time I was not aware that I can apply for the paid parental leave. Is there anyway that I can submit a claim now? I got the paid maternity leave by my employer. Any suggestions please.

    • Hi Nikki,

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but unfortunately you must claim and be paid Parental Leave Pay within a year of the child’s birth.

      If you were eligible for that perhaps you are also eligible for other payments that you don’t currently claim for. Check your eligibility for Family Tax Benefit if you don’t already receive it. If you are eligible you can claim a lump sum payment for the previous financial year.

      Here’s some more info:

      And here’s our article on all the family benefits in Australia:

      Hope this helps! Sorry i didn’t have better news.

      Take care

      • Thanks for your reply. No one told us about this and it was first pregnancy. Called Centerlink and he applied for dad parental leave. Shouldn’t Centerlink will send some letter about this if people are eligible.

        • Hi Nikki, Thanks for coming back to say thanks. It is more than a shame to hear that you’ve missed out on this. Usually there is information in the pack the hospital supplies – with the info about registering your baby. But you would think centrelink would have mentioned it during your phone call about dad and partner pay! I also wonder why your employer didn’t let you know also. You would think they’d be across this as well. So sorry. Take care xx

  27. Hi there,
    Firstly I think it’s great that you are answering lots of questions and concerns that people have, so I want to thank you in advance for responding to my question. I had my daughter on the 21st September (and am still in the newborn haze) I am fortunate enough to get 14 weeks full pay from my employer, which I am taking at 28 weeks half pay. I had intended starting to receive the govt parental leave at the beginning of March as that is when my employer maternity leave ends. From your understanding, is the January 1st start date (if implemented) for babies born after that date or would it apply to anyone intending to take leave after January 1st even if their baby was born prior to that date. I’d rather not receive the two payments at the same time, but obviously would prefer that to missing out altogether. In every article I’ve read from all the newspapers, it doesn’t clarify this, so if you can, I would be extremely grateful. Thanks.

    • Hi Tanya! Congratulations on your new baby girl! It is a bit of a haze but a wonderfully special time as well.

      And thanks also for your appreciation – I wrote this blog post to help simplify things for Australian parents – but I did not anticipate that I would become a bit of a self-appointed question-answerer 🙂 Perhaps I should ask Centrelink for a commission! Of course though I am happy to help!

      Unfortunately though I’m not an expert and I can’t say really what the details of this legislation might be. Especially as it is all still to pass through parliament and is up for negotiation.

      The latest news on it though is that Turnbull has suggested that there is room for negotiation with regard to the Jan 1 start date. The alternate start dates are April 1, July 1 and Oct 1.

      My thoughts are that, if this does get through, the date won’t be January 1.

      If you’re really worried though you could just receive both payments at the same time – pop the PPL in an online saving account and let it earn some interest until March. Might end up with a couple of dollars extra as a bonus 🙂

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance. All the best with your new bub. Look after yourself xx

      • Thanks for your response- you should ask Centrelink for a commission- your responses are quicker and more knowledgeable than most answers given by them With an active three year old, the newborn haze is definitely more of a juggling act this time around Thanks again and take care!

  28. Hi, I have a question about the paid parental leave. My employer tops up my government parental leave to my base pay up to 18 weeks but will only do this for the first 18 weeks. If I am not eligible for the government leave then they will pay the full pay for 18 weeks. With the proposed government changes, I am unsure whether I will be eligible for government leave and plan to only apply a few months after my baby is born. If my company pays me parental leave and then later I find out I am eligible for government paid leave, does this mean the payments will then go directly to my company and they absorb it instead of paying it out to me?


    • Hi there! Congrats on your pregnancy.

      Thanks a tough one and I’m not sure of the answer. I would think that if you were to apply after already receiving the full amount from your employer they could ask you to repay the amount to them that you were overpaid. I’m not sure exactly how they could go about doing this (if they could just absorb the PPL – not sure).

      It all depends on what the government decides to do of course. Depending on your baby’s due date you should have a bit of notice before it changes (if indeed it does change at all).

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Let me know if you have further questions. Take care xx

  29. Hi I’m just enquiring,
    I’m currently 13 weeks pregnant and have been put on bed rest for 4 weeks and possible wont beable to go back to work? As I was , I was currently working average 22hrs a week for the last 1.5 years. Could I still get the leave ? If I get a letter from my doctor? As I have no control over this ?
    Thank you

    • Hi Mandy, Congrats on your pregnancy. Sorry to hear that things haven’t gone smoothly. All the best for the months ahead.

      There are provisions for those people who were unable to meet the Work Test Requirements because of premature birth or pregnancy complications. The Human Services website uses this case study as an example:

      Pregnancy related complications and the work test

      Patricia returned to work full time as a nurse on 30 June 2015 after taking 2 years of unpaid leave to care for her first child. Her second child was due on 3 June 2016. Due to pregnancy induced high blood pressure, her doctor required her to undertake bed rest to help prevent a premature birth. She went on unpaid leave from 31 January 2016. Patricia had intended to work up to 4 May 2016, but her pregnancy related complications stopped her from doing this. Her baby is born on 30 May 2016.

      Patricia didn’t work after 31 January 2016. This would normally mean she doesn’t meet the work test because there is more than an 8 week gap between 2 consecutive work days during the 10 month period. However, the gap was caused by pregnancy related complications and Patricia was able to provide evidence that her doctor required her to undertake bed rest and evidence from her employer that she had intended to continue working until 4 May 2016.

      Patricia meets the work test.

      So in that scenario she had more than 3 months off work and was still able to access Parental Leave Pay – she had evidence from her doctor and her employer.

      So if I were you I would get evidence now from you doctor just to document the four weeks of bed rest now (just in case you need it later). If you return to work afterward then you should be fine to claim as normal. If you do not return to work you will have to get another letter from your doctor stating why and for how long plus a letter from your employer.

      Hope this makes sense. Take care xx

      I wouldn’t know

  30. Hi, I am due to start receiving paid parental leave this week. My employer is waiting for the final details from Centrelink to commence payments. However my employer has just emailed saying they have been notified of a daily rate, therefore as I was three days a week leading up to the birth, I will only be paid for three days at the daily rate provided by Centrelink. Is this correct? I was under the impression I am eligible for the full weekly rate?

    Many Thanks, Jess

    • Hi Jess,

      Your employer is incorrect. You should get the full amount and the government will pay your workplace that amount. They have to then pay it over to you in your usual pay cycle (taking out tax etc).

      You might have to get them to reread their paperwork.

      Hope it gets sorted out quickly for you!

      All the best xx

  31. Hi,
    I just want to make sure I’m 100% clear as to whether I qualify for paid parental leave.
    I currently work full time 3 days a week (approx 22.5 hours per week) and full under the $150,000 p.a – i understand I will qualify if i continue to work up until 10 weeks before my baby is due? (or have I got this part wrong?)
    Will my husband be paid by the government on paternity leave if he takes 2 weeks off after the birth?

    Also is this something I have to go to centrelink to discuss? Sorry not 100% sure on all this stuff its our first!!

    • Hi! Congrats on your pregnancy. All very exciting!

      And it can be very confusing – especially when it is your first – that’s why we’ve written this post (and why there are so many questions on it!).

      Basically it sounds like you will be eligible for the paid parental leave although you’ll need to continue to work at least until 8 weeks before your due date (unless of course baby is premature or there are pregnancy-related issues that mean you have to stop earlier). The rule is that you have to work for 10 out of the 13 months before the due date (with no more that an 8-week consecutive gap of not-working).

      If your husband takes two weeks leave without pay then he should be eligible to receive the Dad and Partner Pay too.

      Also – you have to figure out whether you’re entitled to maternity leave – this isn’t money but the right to take time off from your job (12 months) and have you position available for you when you return. This is something you need to talk to your work about too. They need at least 10 weeks notice (perhaps this is where you got the 10 weeks idea from).

      Also you can start your application for PPL now and check your eligibility online. You will then only have to update it when your baby is born to begin receiving the payment.

      Hope this helps. Come back and ask more questions if you have them.

      All the best xx

  32. Hi!
    These proposed changes are causing me and my family so much anxiety. I am due mid Feb, and I had been relying on receiving the government paid paternity leave as well as my work parental leave. I get 14 weeks with my employer that I will do a half pay. Which really isn’t much money and is definitely a struggle. I was really looking forward to taking nearly a full 12 months off, and spending some time with my family, actually getting to do the school drop off’s ect and enjoy my new baby, and not return to work when they are really young.
    We cannot afford to be without the second wage so if the paid parental leave is cut I will have to return to work early and put my new baby in child care.
    I really hope they at least reconsider not affecting any families currently expecting, as it’s unfair to those of us that were anticipating the income, and to have this cut just a few short months before we are expecting… well it just feels mean!
    Everyone knows it is an expensive, challenging venture having children and the support of the government is so valuable.

    • Hi Nickie, thanks for your comment and congrats on your pregnancy. I have a February baby (although he’s not a baby anymore!).

      I agree completely. The last thing expectant parents need is uncertainty and anxiety. I hope that they rethink this, especially the Jan 1 start date.

      In the meantime you could try writing to your local member to voice your concerns. And drum up some support from friends or family too. Worth a shot!

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us and all the best. Take care xx

  33. Hi!

    The Paternity Trap is all about raising awareness to the lack of men taking paternity leave in Australia. There are so many benefits that accompany taking paternity leave and yet only 1 in 50 men actually utilise it. Ultimately, we would like to challenge the current policies that only allow men (who actually take paternity leave) 2 weeks with their new born! If we compare this to Sweden, which has 90 days reserved for the father out of their parental leave and Portugal, which allow 120 days leave at 100% salary, it is obvious that we need to catch up! Along with this, it is also important to address why so few men are taking paternity leave.

    If you have any ideas/thoughts, feel free to check out The Paternity Trap’s social media pages and blog. Your support can help spread the word!

    Thank you for your time!

  34. Hi,
    Just wondering whether you know any more information regarding new changes to paid parental leave- expected to start January 2017. I work for an employer where I am entitled to maternity leave through work. I am due at the end of January 2016 and I was counting on using this money and the paid parental leave to be able to stay at home for 12 months with my first baby. I am about to complete my leave requests with work, however, this could throw a spanner in the works, as there is no way we could survive on my Husbands wage only for 12 months. The uncertainty of the current news articles are causing real anxiety for me.

    • Hi Teagan, Congratulations on your pregnancy. Sorry that this is causing you anxiety. It is unfair of the government to announce this as a measure that could be introduced in January. It is the last thing pregnant mothers need to be worrying about.

      Honestly I don’t know what will happen but this isn’t in any way set in stone. The Labor Party has said they will not support this and so have a few of the independents. Even if it does get through parliament it will still have to get through the senate. They tried before and it took months and never happened. I would be very surprised if it happened quickly this time – or at all.

      And I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t too. I find it unfair that they’d attempt to bring something in that would affect those people who are currently pregnant. Hopefully we will know for sure soon enough so that you and the many others in your situation can stop worrying.

      Take care xx

      • Hi,

        I am due I am due in 5 days and have submitted my claim which has been approved but I nominated a start date of 9th of January. Would I be affected by this if it does go through the senate? Would it be worthwhile to just have a start date as soon as baby arrives? If so is it possible to change the start date?

        • Hi Anna!

          Getting close now – how exciting!

          I’m assuming that you’re able to access employer-based maternity leave which is why your start date is not for a while. And why you’re concerned about the recent stuff in the news (which only affects parents who are able to claim employer-based leave pay as well as the government’s).

          So, this is a tough one. At first I thought ‘yes’ I would change it – even just a week earlier. Better safe than sorry you know … But you I’m sure you’ve got a good reason for starting it on that date and probably don’t really want to change it.

          So on second thoughts I’m not sure I’d bother. Firstly, this has to go through parliament etc and it doesn’t look like it will get the support and even if it does it may not be very quick. Secondly, they’d have to be pretty cruel and thoughtless to take it away from someone who has already been approved for it. You would think that it wouldn’t be possible.

          I would leave it for now and see how this pans out. If it looks like coming in – I’d chat to centrelink if I were you and confirm whether you would be affected.

          Hope this helps xx

  35. Hi there,

    Thanks for your help with all other comments.

    I am due end of Jan and hope to apply for PPL early November if possible. I am a sole trader and have worked from home for the last year or so. My question is, does it matter that I was out of the country for more than 2 months during that time? I was still working on my sole trader business while away and will have invoices to show that. But these invoices are also not consistent as my line of work moves in ebs and flows!

    Any advice?

    Thank you so much

    • Hi Niamh! Congrats on your pregnancy!

      I am sorry but I haven’t been able to find much info there on the impact of leaving the country. I do know that if you are technically ’employed’ (not on unpaid leave or between jobs) during that time it shouldn’t matter but I can’t say with certainty how Centrelink will view this considering that you were out of the country.

      Definitely worth checking with them though. I would think that you should be fine (as long as you meet all the other criteria).

      Just another thing though, you may know this already, but even if you apply for the PPL in November you can’t complete your application (and therefore receive payments) until after the baby’s birth.

      Hope this all make sense.

      Take care xx

  36. I have a curly one for you.
    I contract to a government body/ non for profit to facilitate a grant project, equivalent of one day a week. I started the position 1/1/2016 before I knew I was pregnant and the contract is for 3 years, and I just renewed my contract for the next funding cycle prior to the birth and will be invoiced by my employer every 2 months (Oct/Dec/Feb). It’s a low paid job and I technically didn’t have it for 10 months prior to bubs arriving, but I work the other 4 days in a family business. I am taking leave from this business. We could really do with the PPL but I can’t find any info about 2 jobs and whether we could qualify as my partner would care for the baby whilst I fulfilled my facilitator role. It seems you can only transfer full weeks between carers, not days.

    From your responses and from what I have read, I’m not holding my breath.

    • Hi Anthea! Yes, that is quite a curly one!

      It seems as though the only thing stopping you from being eligible would be that facilitator role – as you aren’t able to do any paid work while receiving Parental Leave Pay. If there’s no way around that then I’m afraid you would not be able to receive it.

      BUT – there is one important thing! Parental Leave Pay is not all or nothing. You can receive one or two weeks worth if that’s all you’re taking off work. If you don’t work for a little while after the baby is born (and you meet all the other criteria, income test etc) then you can apply for Parental Leave Pay for that time. Not sure how your role works but could you combine a few days and do them three weeks or a month after bub is born? That way you could get a little bit of help for that time. Just an idea.

      Otherwise look at your eligibility for Family Tax Benefits (do that anyway) and if you’re eligible you can receive the Newborn Supplement and Upfront Payment instead of the Parental Leave Pay. It isn’t much but is might work out much the same as taking one week of Parental Leave Pay (as it wouldn’t be a taxable amount, and Parental leave Pay is)

      Oh, and as far as having two jobs though – that is fine for Parental Leave Pay – it doesn’t matter where you work as long as you are working.

      Hope this helps! Take care xx

      • Thank you 🙂
        I’m going to see what Centrelink say and will then approach my employer to see if I can juggle the invoice dates for my contract so I can claim some leave. Even if it’s only a few weeks.

  37. Hi. I have a question that I am struggling to find the answer too.
    I had worked for my previous employer for 2 years and quit at the end of August. I started my new job just 2 weeks later. I am due to have my first child early june. As that is only 7-8 months with my current company before the baby but only a 2 week break in between jobs does this mean i wont be eligible? Thank you.

    • Hi Tyla!

      Congrats on your pregnancy!

      There are two things to consider.

      1. Are you eligible for Parental Leave Pay? Yes, as far as the Work Test goes, you will have met the criteria. You need to work for 10 out of the 13 months before your baby is born to be eligible. You cannot have a break of unpaid leave more than 8 weeks. It doesn’t matter if you work for one or two or more employers. It just matters that you have worked. Please check your eligibility with all the other criteria (there’s an income test etc) but as far as this goes, you should be eligible.

      2. Are you entitled to maternity leave from your job? So … maternity leave is different from the government’s Parental Leave Pay. Maternity Leave is the right to take 12 months off work following the birth of a baby and have the job waiting for you when you return. It is usually unpaid leave although some employers offer paid leave. To be entitled to leave you must have worked for your employer for 12 months and in your case you have only been there for 7 or 8 months. Technically then they do not have to give you maternity leave. You will still receive the government Parental Leave Pay (regardless of whether or not you return to work). The only real difference is that your employer does not have to hold your job open for you while you are away.

      Having said that though, maternity leave is flexible and is up to your employer – they can decide to offer it to you even though you haven’t been there 12 months. (Unlike parental leave pay which is the government and either yes or no).

      So decide whether you think you want to return to this job after 12 months (or however long) and then have a chat with your employer about maternity leave. Rest assured though that you should be eligible for the Parental Leave Pay (provided you meet all the other criteria).

      Hope this all makes sense! I started to ramble on a bit.

      Take care xx

  38. I apologise if this has been asked. I was reading through most of the previous comments and could not see an answer to my query.

    I hold a full time position from which I receive maternity leave. I also own and operate a small business which is home based with no employees.

    I have just had our 2nd child in September 2016 and plan on applying for the parental leave but have not applied as yet. In 6 weeks there is an expo on which is the biggest day of the year for my small business in terms of revenue and marketing.

    What are my options for my business attending this expo? Can I attend and apply for parental leave post event. Can I employ some-one to run my business at the expo? Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • Hi Verity! Thanks for your question and sorry for the slow reply. Also congrats on your new baby!!

      Having done a bit of reading to see if I can help you out I have come to the conclusion that your best option would be to employ someone to operate your business at the expo.

      The reason is that you can’t apply for parental leave after you have returned to work. And this one day would most likely count as having ‘returned to work’. I found that info on this page:

      There are some things called Keeping in Touch days but I don’t think this would really qualify. You can read more about them here:

      Anyway please check all this with Centrelink as I am no expert – just doing my best to help other parents navigate through the confusion!!

      Also – don’t leave it too long to apply. You have up to a year but the 18 weeks needs to be paid within that year. So if you apply with only two weeks left in the year you can only receive two weeks worth of parental leave pay.

      Hope that all makes sense. Take care xx

  39. Hi,
    Could someone please give me some advice, I am currently working for Queensland health and have been full time since November 2016 and casually before then. My contract runs out January 29th 2017 which would make me 35 weeks pregnant. I still haven’t got confirmation if they will be extending my contract or not. I was wondering would I be able to take maternity leave on the 27th January even if I would only have 2 days left of my contract? Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Thanks R

    • Hi March Baby!

      Thanks for your comment and congrats on your pregnancy.

      I am not quite sure if I can answer your question. Did you mean that you have been full time since November 2015 (rather than 2016)? If you I would assume that you are entitled to maternity leave. Maternity leave is just leave from your job – with the option to have it waiting for you when you return after 12 months. In most cases it is unpaid. Although as you work for the government they might have paid maternity leave in place also. I am not quite sure why you wouldn’t just work up until the end of your contract though? Weirdly the 29th is a Sunday so perhaps that’s the reason? I wouldn’t think that finishing before your contract ends would have an impact on your entitlement to leave – but that is maybe a conversation to have with the HR department. Maternity leave can be flexible if the employee is happy to accommodate you.

      The government’s parental leave pay though is different. But if you have worked for 10 out of the 13 months before your due date (full-time or casually) then you’ll be eligible (provided you meet all the other requirements). If you finished work at 35 weeks you’ll still be eligible. They won’t be concerned about whether or not your contract was up.

      I hope that I have given you some answers. If you have further questions or want to be more specific about your circumstances please feel free to post again.

      Thanks! xx

  40. Hi there.

    I’ve unfortunately found out that my role will be made redundant. I’m due on 7 December 2016 and at this stage my last day at work will be on 14 October. I have been continuously employed since July 2015. I have already lodged a claim with Centrelink but I’m worried that I won’t qualify for the government Parental Leave Pay anymore. Or do I just squeeze in because it’s not a full 8 weeks consecutively (technically just 7.5wks) since I will have stopped working before my baby is due? Your advice would be much appreciated! PS – my Dr advised that my baby is more than likely to arrive early due to medical reasons – I just don’t have a confirmed date.

    • Hi there! Sorry to hear about your redundancy – not what you need at this stage of your pregnancy I’m sure.

      Seeing as though you’ll still be under that 8 weeks ‘rule’ I would say you’d still be eligible for Parental Leave Pay. So that will be one less thing for you to stress about. Of course, check this all with Centrelink though.

      Take care xx

  41. Hey,
    I am working as a casual employee, and my due is on 7th of feb 2017. I was planning to leave work by the end of october. so can you please tell me if i would be eligible for paid parental leave.

  42. Hi,

    I seem to be getting lots of mixed messages from work colleagues who have had babies and centrelink themselves. So I’m wondering if you can help!!

    I am having my first baby in November – I’m entitled to 14 weeks (28 half pay) paid maternity leave from my employer and then I was going to take 7 weeks long service leave half pay – so all up 32 weeks half pay maternity leave – after the 32 weeks I’m planning on going back to work.
    I applied for this all before I was told that I would be able to get the governments paid parental leave.
    My question is, can I get the government payments whilst I’m getting my employer’s payments? (so both payments at the same time) I read on the comments here that yes you can…. and that people have.

    When I spoke to centrelink , they said that the payments cannot overlap and I would have to wait until my employer’s payments finished before I could get the government’s.

    I’m very nervous dealing with centrelink and their rules as I was once a student who had to pay back a lot of money because I didn’t claim properly :-/ ! I don’t want to ever do that again – especially with a new baby on the way !!

    Thanks heaps

    • Hi there! Congrats on your pregnancy!

      No wonder you are nervous! I had to pay back a centrelink debt when I was a student also so I understand that it’s important to check and double check.

      If Centrelink has said no then I would probably take their word for it to avoid any chance of having to repay a debt. I have seen the comment on this thread though and it seems that person has done it. But I guess Centrelink has the last say.

      So I’m assuming that you are committed now to the dates of your time off work. If so why not take your work’s maternity leave pay at full pay for 14 weeks and then take the government’s 18 weeks? That is still 32 weeks off work and you’re getting your full entitlement of pay. As you’ve only budgeted for half pay you can save the rest for a rainy day. And then you’ve still got all that annual leave up your sleeve if you need it later.

      Also remember that all full-time employees (who’ve worked for at least 12 months) are entitled to a year of maternity leave (unpaid) so if you do want to extend your leave you are entitled to.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. I hope this makes some sense. Let me know if you find out more.

      All the best xx

  43. Hi
    I have a question in regards to the employer paid maternity leave and government PPL.
    I am able to access 12 weeks of paid maternity leave from my employer, however my work year finishes at the beginning of December. So I will be on 12 weeks paid maternity leave from then.
    My bub is not due until 19th February. So that will mean there is a ten week gap.
    Will my employer paid maternity leave count towards the ‘paid leave’ clause in regards to the government PPL (no more than 8 weeks leave)?

    • Hi Chloe!

      Thanks for your question and congratulations on your pregnancy. This one is a tough one and I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. I would think that ‘yes’ this would count as it technically is paid leave and you are still ’employed’ by this company. Please double check this with Centrelink of course though. All the best xx

  44. Hi!

    I have a question regards to combined paid maternity leave and PPL.

    I have more than enough covered the hours required to be eligible for PPL, and well under the max amount to be earned, but I’m stuck on when I can finish up work? I have worked almost 4 years at this current job and I want to finish up as soon as I can to still be eligible for PPL – with needing to have 10/13 months before EDD (3rd March) Does that mean I can leave work pretty much exactly 3 months prior to EDD as I would have worked the 10/13 months required?? My last scan estimated to be due a week earlier now too, so new EDD 25th Feb, but I’m not sure which date the government will want me to go by?

    It’s all a bit confusing! If I go by original EDD of March 3, then 12 weeks prior is Dec 9, so it should be safe to leave from then or after correct?
    I should also be able to receive some form of maternity leave pay from my work, but I cant find any information about it, I just know I’ll get 1/2 when I leave and 1/2 when I return to work. I want to keep my options open by getting maternity leave, but I am not sure if I WILL end up returning back to work. So can I still get first half maternity leave pay to begin with if I am unsure of my return or not? And also get PPL?

    Thanks for your time!

    • Hi there! Congrats on your pregnancy!

      Firstly, to answer your last question, you are able to access the Government’s Parental Leave Pay as well as your employer’s paid leave (provided you meet eligibility criteria for both).

      Secondly, each company has different maternity leave policies so it will be best to talk to them – check with HR if they’re a bigger company – and they should be able to provide you with the details. I haven’t heard of a company doing that half/half thing before but I imagine it is because a fair proportion of people don’t return to work after the maternity leave. I also think it is unreasonable to expect someone to know for sure if they will or not before the baby is born. So many things change after the birth of a baby. So basically I think that if you are entitled to maternity leave pay from your work then you should be able to get the first half and still change your mind about returning – without consequence. You will need to ask them about this too.

      Lastly – your question about the Government Parental Leave Pay. One of the eligibility criteria is that you must work for the 10 out of 13 months without a break longer than 8 consecutive weeks (unpaid). That means you’ll have to work up until eight weeks before your due date. By my calculations that would mean you have to work until Dec 30 (going by the due date of Feb 25). If you’ve got annual leave owing you could extend this so you can leave earlier as annual leave counts as work under the ‘work test’ criteria.

      I would use the Feb 25 date myself if that is what the doctor is saying and you have the documentation that says that.

      Hope this all helps somewhat. Come back if you have further questions.

      I am not an expert in all this though and I am not affiliated with Centrelink so you should still check with them.

      All the best xx

  45. I have a question that I am wondering if you can help me with. I’m due at the end of the year but we will be flying back home to NZ for the birth. I am not sure how long We will be staying in NZ or even if We will return to Australia. Just wondering if I am still entitled to Paid parental leave and maternity leave if I am in NZ for the first year of baby’s life? I have been working full time for 4 years in the same job, the job also offers amateur its leave.

  46. We are trying to have another baby after having a miscarriage earlier this year. We have paid parental leave in our enterprise agreement as well but I’m worried now that we won’t cross the line before all the changes come through. Are you aware when they are going to change so they can stop what they are calling “double dipping”?

    • Hi Letshope. Sorry to hear about your loss.

      You will be happy to hear that the government has given up on this whole ‘double-dipping’ business. They couldn’t get it through parliament when they first tried and this year they shelved the plan.

      So we won’t see this happening during this Government’s term at least. thank goodness 🙂

      Here’s some more info:

      Wishing you all the best. Take care xx

      • Hi there, I have read that they are once again trying to push to get rid of PPL double dipping as of 20th sept 2016. The article said that they would be going to Sennate again soon with the proposed changes, is that right? I’m on pins at the moment as due in Jan and have 10 days till i can apply for the PPL!!

        • Hi Becky. I have just tried to find some info on this for you and I couldn’t find anything much reported in the mainstream media. But I did read probably the same thing you did – about the social services minister saying they will still try to get this through. Ugh! So frustrating. I don’t blame you for worrying but I wouldn’t be too concerned about it affecting you. Even if they DO get this through the senate it will probably take a while and in the past when they’ve made changes like this they do not come into affect immediately. Usually – like when they cut the Baby Bonus – they did so after a timeframe that would allow people who were currently pregnant to still be able to access it before the changes. Hopefully this will be the same. Fingers crossed. All the best xx

  47. I’m a sole trader & I work from home. My business is doing really well & brings in twice the wage my husband makes. My husband has worked for the same company for 10+ years and has long service leave built up. Because I run my own business and don’t employ anyone to assist me, ideally if we were to have a baby, financially it would make sense for my husband to take maternity leave to be the primary carer, and the business I’ve worked hard at establishing could continue to operate without losing clients (hopefully!). My question is, is my husband able to receive the paid parental I would otherwise be paid if I chose to be the primary carer. Yes, he has long service built up, so we can use that, but can he get the 14-16 weeks leave?

    • Hi Ando,

      Congrats on your pregnancy and also on the business! Sounds like you’ve got a good thing going.

      You are able to transfer some or all of your Parental Leave Pay (it is 18 weeks pay at minimum wage) as long as you are eligible yourself. There’s more information here:

      And it appears as though your husband would also be entitled to leave (as in the actual time off work) as well as the payment. It is all a bit confusing but there’s more info here;

      So if you all meet all the criteria I am thinking that you’d be able to have a few weeks off with your baby, receiving the Parental Leave Pay, then your partner could take unpaid parental leave from work and you transfer the Parental Leave Pay to fund this time off. When baby is nearing 4 months old (and the Parental Leave Pay is running out you could perhaps see how it is all going and then talk about whether he could take some long service leave (or continue parental leave, but unpaid).

      Anyway – I hope this helps somewhat. I’m no expert so you’d be best to have a good read of the links and investigate further.

      Sorry I couldn’t help further. All the best with the new bub xx

  48. Hi there. I’m due in jan 2017. I have decided to access my annual leave and long service leave and will be leaving work at the end of October 2016 and be on leave (a mix of annual and long service ) until the baby is due. Does paid leave still count as part of the employeement criteria? I have worked at the same company for over 15 years and am planning on returning to the same company.

    • Hi Emily!

      Congrats on your pregnancy!

      Your leave – because it is paid leave – still counts as ‘work’ for the Work Test. Which means you’ll meet the ‘work test’ eligibility criteria of Parental Leave Pay. Good news!

      Come back if you have further questions!

      All the best xx

  49. Hi there

    I am pregnant with my first baby, due in March 2017. I currently work for the State Government and will receive 12 weeks paid maternity leave from my employer (I satisfy the work test), am I also eligible to receive the 18 weeks Australian Parental leave after the 12 weeks of paid maternity leave? That means a total of 30 weeks of paid leave?


    • Hi! Congrats on your pregnancy!

      The good news is that you are able to access both. If you meet all the criteria for the government’s Parental Leave Pay then you can receive it as well as your employer’s maternity leave payment. I’m sure this will be welcome news for you! Take care xx

  50. Hi,

    I’ll be starting my maternity leave soon and the company where I’m working has a 10 weeks paid leave. Will I be taxed as per normal salary for the paid leave? Can I still avail the paid parental leave from the government? What about daddy’s or partner’s leave?

    • Hi Chantie. Congrats on your pregnancy. Hope you enjoy the bit of time off before baby arrives. You will be taxed as normal for your paid leave and you are also still able to access the 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay too (it is also a taxable income) if you meet all the eligibility requirements. You can begin your application for the Parental Leave Pay now and you will have to chat to your employer about it as they are the ones who pay it to you as per your normal pay cycle.

      There is also Dad and Partner pay. It is two weeks at the minimum wage and it payable when a dad or partner takes unpaid leave following the birth of a child. There’s more about this here:

      Hope this all makes sense. All the best xx

  51. Hi there,

    Wondering if I would be eligible to receive paid parental leave. I’m currently working a contract 23 hours per week up until end of Dec which I commenced this week (8 x fortnightly pay cycles and 330+ hours worked). Prior to this I was and continue to manage our bed and breakfast (managed through airbnb – all transactions/income captured for taxable income purposes). I could provide human services with proof of income through this stream along with the number of hours I spent associated however I do not have an ABN adjoined to the revenue stream. What are your thoughts on my chances?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Hi Melissa!

      This one’s a tricky one. I’m not entirely sure. I cannot see anywhere on the Parental Leave Pay criteria where it mentions whether or not you have an ABN. I can see that whether you generate income isn’t an issue though – it is more about the hours you’ve worked.

      If you work for a family business, you can include your hours of work even if the business doesn’t make any income, provided you are working for financial gain or benefit.

      But I guess they will ask if it is really a business if there’s no ABN.

      My only advice is that you check with Centrelink about this directly. You could also post on our forum to see if anyone else is in a similar position. Here’s a link to our finances forum section:

      Please come back to let us know how it goes. I am very interested in the outcome and it may help others who read this trying to figure out their own situation.

      All the best xx

  52. Hi there,

    I was hoping for some clarification with regards to Paid Parental Leave.

    I am currently eligible to receive PPL and I am due 13th Feb 17.
    My employer and I have agreed that I will resign on 1st Dec 16, as I do not want to return to my position. My last day of employment is 10.5 weeks before the birth of my child. I would like to know if I have still entitled to PPL as I will technically no longer be employed and it will be longer than 8 weeks.

    • Hi Mel, Congrats on your pregnancy!

      So, as far as I know whether you plan on returning to your job doesn’t affect anything when applying for Parental Leave Pay but the issue I think would be the 8 weeks.

      It is definitely worth checking this out with Centrelink to make sure and then if it does make you ineligible, perhaps looking at remaining at your job for that little bit longer? (It is more than $10,000 before tax). If you have a few weeks of annual leave owing to you maybe take that from Dec 1? If your annual leave can cover you up to that 8 week mark then you’re technically still employed if you’re on paid leave.

      Hopefully you can work it out. Take care xx

  53. Hello there!

    Just have a question in relation to back-dating paternity leave payments. We were granted residency last week (yay!) and bubs is now 16 weeks old. I did read on the Department of Human Services that it’s possible to back date payments. However, is it possible to back date when we didn’t meet residency requirements when bubs was born


    • Hi Mark! Congrats on the new baby!!

      Your question is a tough one. It does say that you have to be living in Australia when the baby is born to be eligible. Under any of these circumstances:
      have Australian citizenship
      hold a permanent visa
      hold a special category visa, or
      hold a temporary visa; for example, a partner provisional, interdependency or temporary protection visa

      So my instinct would be that unless you meet these circumstances you’d not be eligible. But please have a discussion with Centrelink about this all – if you’re not eligible for this you may be eligible for other payments now that baby is born. Best check with them in this instance!

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Please come back and let us know how it went. Perhaps you could provide an answer for the next person who may be reading this in your situation. All the best

  54. Hi there i am only 10 weeks pregnant and i was just wondering how maternity leave works here in australia. I am a nz citizen with australian residency and have been living in australia for 3 years. I have been at the same job for 3 years too. I am intending on working fulltime until 6 weeks before my due date which is march 26th 2017 and i am wanting to fly back to nz at 34 weeks to have the baby in nz and then fly back to australia a week later after the baby is born. Am i entitled to any maternity leave based on my situation? This will be my second child if that matters?

    • Hi Shy,

      Congrats on your pregnancy – hope you are feeling well.

      In Australia maternity leave works like this:
      – in your situation you should be entitled to 12 months maternity leave (most likely unpaid) this means that you are able to return to your position after that time.

      The government has Parental Leave Pay to help eligible families fund this time off. It is 18 weeks pay at the minimum wage and depending on how much you earn etc you should be able to access this.

      I am not completely sure whether leaving the country affects your eligibility for Parental Leave Pay either way – they do always ask questions about ‘the date you last entered the country’ and I’m guessing that is to establish residency. I doubt that it would affect your entitlement to maternity leave.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. Perhaps you would be better to ask your question on our forum in case anyone there has been in a similar situation?

      Here’s a link to our family finances section:

      Good luck with it all> Take care xx

  55. Hi there, please help! I’ve been working full time since 27 October 2015, my due date is 1st of January 2017.

    I’ve been notified that according to Fair Works Act, I have to work at least up to 6weeks before my due date. Is this true? But according to centrelink, i can stop working 8weeks before due date? Im having a difficult pregnancy so 2 weeks is precious for me.

    What date should be my last day of work, to be eligible for Parental Pay?

    Thank you for your help

    • Hi BabyMumma, Sorry to hear that you’ve been having a difficult pregnancy. The last thing you need to be doing is worrying about work and money 🙁

      So the first to take note of is that Maternity Leave and Parental Leave Pay are two different things.

      Maternity Leave is just leave (and unless your company provides paid leave, it is unpaid). It says on the Fair Work website that Maternity Leave has to start “up to 6 weeks before the expected birth (or earlier if the employer agrees)” – which frankly is confusing. They state that if a woman wants to continue working closer to her due date she has to provide evidence that she’s OK to do so.

      In any case, I take this to mean that there is room for negotiation with your employer. You need to apply for leave 10 weeks before you’d like the leave to start so this is a conversation that needs to be had in the next week or so.

      This does not affect your eligibility for the Government’s Parental Leave Pay. The Parental Leave Pay is separate and is just a payment. You cannot complete your claim for Parental Leave Pay until the baby is born though – so any time off you take beforehand will be unpaid.

      There is one issue with Parental Leave Pay and that is that you must be working continuously without more than an 8-week gap of not working (this doesn’t count paid leave – as technically you are still working when you’re on paid leave). So to be eligible you couldn’t leave work more than 8 weeks before your due date. However there are provisions in cases of premature birth or pregnancy complications so if you simply cannot work you should investigate what you need to do in that case (usually the Government requires a note from your doctor and your employer).

      So I’d be talking to your employers now – telling them that you intend to stop work eight weeks before your due date and also discuss other entitlements – such as annual leave etc – that you might be able to access to fund this leave until the Governments Paid Parental Leave kicks in after the baby is born.

      Hope this helps. take care xx

  56. Hi there, my partner was pregnant and due early March 2017. She recently had a miscarriage and we are waiting to start trying again in the next month or two. She is currently finishing off a teaching degree at the end of this year and would like to start applying for jobs but is worried about losing her maternity leave entitlements. She currently is an employee at Coles and they have recently begun cutting her shifts, which will obviously effect her working next year. She feels abit stuck not being able to leave Coles, and not being able to plan for the future. Is there any way out of this situation?

    • HI BM, Sorry to hear about the miscarriage. I hope everyone is feeling as well as can be under the circumstances.

      With regard to your partner’s work situation I am not 100 per cent sure whether you’re talking about her eligibility for the Government’s Parental Leave Pay or her entitlement to maternity leave. Maternity leave is the entitlement to take 12 months leave from your job and have it waiting for you on your return.

      If you’re talking about Parental Leave Pay then there is some good news – the good thing about the government’s Parental Leave Pay is that you don’t have to be working for the same employer within the period of eligibility. You just have to be working. If your partner works for at least 10 out of the 13 months before the baby is born then she should be eligible (of course there are other eligibility criteria so you’ll have to check with centrelink for advice on the specifics).

      So for example – if she falls pregnant somewhere around two months from now and her due date is about July 1 2017 then she’ll need to work for at least 10 months in the period from June 1 2016 till July 1 2017. She has already worked two and a half of those and if she starts a teaching job in late Jan/Feb then she’ll work another five before the baby’s due date. There is one issue – you can’t be ‘not working’ for more than 8 consecutive weeks within that 13 month period. So to be sure that she’ll receive the government’s Parental Leave Pay she should remain at Coles until she has secured another job and then depending on when that job begins to pay her (some teaching jobs might pay from Jan 1) she can work out when she is able to leave Coles (making sure it is not 8 weeks before the next job begins – or begins to pay her).

      Hope that helps somewhat! All the best!

  57. Can any one help me, I have earnt over the 150,000 taxable income earnt to receive paid maternity leave however is it the last financial year i.e 2015- 2016 or 2016- 2017 ,as we are now in a new financial year can i still be eligible? my baby is due in January 2017? and i want to stop work at 28 weeks instead of working fifo up untill i pop.
    If not do you get any financial support??

    • Hi Ell! Congratulations on your pregnancy. Hope it is all going well.

      Having had a look at the Parental Leave website I would be inclined to think that you would not be eligible based on your income for the last financial year as that is what they go by. Also if you’re planning on taking 12 weeks off before the due date you may not meet the work test anyway. I hate being the bearer of bad news and of course I am no expert I would still talk to Family Assistance about your circumstances just to be sure.

      The other thing is that when your baby is born you may still be eligible for Family Tax Benefits. When applying for this they ask you to estimate your income for the current year. So if you’re not working you may be eligible for this type of assistance when your baby is born. This article has some more info on that:

      Hope this helps. Take care xx

  58. Hi there,

    Does the ‘8-week gap between two consecutive working days’ count backwards from the due date? I mean, if I stop work 11 weeks prior to my due date will I no longer be eligible for paid parental leave then? (because then it’ll be more than 8 weeks of non-working)

    My due date is 30 Nov 2016 and I’m planning to stop work 27 September 2016. Will that be OK? will I still be eligible?

    Thank you for your feedback, in advance.

    • Hi Azy. Congrats on your pregnancy. Hope everything is going smoothly.

      I unfortunately am a bit stuck for an answer on this one. I can tell you that if you’re being paid for this time that it will count in your 10 months. Because paid leave counts as work. The other thing is that if you’re leaving for reasons due to a complication of your pregnancy – if your doctor has suggested bed rest then you will be eligible due to this circumstances (you’ll need to provide proof of this – from your doc and employer).

      If however your leave will be unpaid and not to do with your doctor’s order then I am really not sure – sorry! You might have to check this one with Centrelink I’m afraid. Please come back and let us know what they say so that I can offer advice to others who might be in your situation.

      Thanks. Take care xx

  59. Hi there!
    I started back at work on the 1st of November 2015 I worked till the 6th of March then decided to stay home with my little girl for a little longer. I went back to work on June 15th 2016 and I am due on 16th of April. In this 10 months (from when I started back in June till my due date I am working 60 hours a month and there will be no time off) only 2 weeks before Bub is due. Will I be eligible? Thank you xx

    • Hi Kim. Congrats on your pregnancy. From what you’ve told me here, I would assume that you’ll be eligible. You meet the 10 months criteria as it is measured up until the expected due date (not the date you take leave). If you meet all the other criteria I would say that you’d be eligible. You can apply before your baby is born and just complete the application once baby is here. Hope this has answered your questions. All the best xx

  60. Hi,
    I’m employed as a casual lifeguard on a rotational 4on 4 off roster i am currently 22 weeks pregnant. I have been employed for 9 months and am looking at finishing in September/ Oct. When i decide to take leave am i eligible for payments up until i give birth in December? Or is it just leave without payments?

    • Hi Arathea! Congratulations on your pregnancy. When you apply for Parental Leave Pay you can only complete the application once the baby is born (you can get a start on it beforehand but you need to wait till baby is born to submit it). So your payments cannot start before this happens. You might have to check with Centrelink with exact timing etc though. Sorry I couldnt’ be of more help. All the best, xx

  61. Hi there,
    I’m currently on paid maternity leave and due to return to work next year. I’ve been looking into starting an online business with my husband but am hesitant to go any further as I don’t want it to affect my leave pay – obviously I’d be making next to nothing to begin with and its not worth my leave pay being cancelled! Is it even possible to start/register an online business whilst on paid leave, without affecting this? (Even if I don’t pay myself?)

  62. Hi,

    I am approved to receive PPL which will be paid through my employer as of next week. However I also have a small online retail business I run from home as a sole trader. Would I need to close the shop so I don’t make any sales or do I just not ‘take an income’? ( which I don’t pay myself anyway),

    Any advice is appreciated!

  63. Hi Bub Hub Crew,

    I was just wondering if i can transfer my 2 weeks dad pay to the mother of my child??

    If i can’t… do i have to actually take leave to receive the one of payment??


    • Hi Again

      I’ve managed to find out that i cannot transfer my 2 weeks entitlment

      But just wondering if the 2 weeks have to be consecutive. Our baby was very premature and directly after the birth I took one week off and i would like to take another week off when he comes home??


      • Hi Greg, congrats on your baby. Hope everything is going well. I’ve had a look on the official site and I’m afraid that the two weeks do have to be taken in one continuous block.

        But – did you claim for the Dad and Partner Pay already when you took your first week off? If you didn’t then you should be able to claim it for the two weeks when baby comes home. The payment is just money – it is not an entitlement to leave. If your employee is happy to give you the two weeks off – unpaid – then you can claim the payment from the government to fund that time off work. Provided of course that you satisfy all the other eligibility criteria of course.

        I hope you do, so please have a chat to Centrelink and your employer if you haven’t already claimed the payment for that first week off.

        All the best xx

  64. Firstly hello all,

    Now here is a spinner for u..
    Basically I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child, this bub is due 18th of October 2016.. I returned to work on the 5th of October 2015 in a casual position, come 29th Feb the company gave me a contract to sign to go on part time permanent, I signed & returned to office to get told a few weeks later I had a new updated contract to sign (there both the same) except the start date was pushed back a month to now 28th March with a 6 month probation period.. Anyways I’m still on probation now work 12 hours a week & im planning to take maternity leave as of mid October, my concern is the company has a maternity policy in place which is any part time permanent employee who has work 12 consecutive months is entitled to 12 weeks maternity leave full pay, I want to apply for this but am concerned that I’m still in my probation period until 28th September 2016 & they can give me 1 week in leu instead due to probation.. They also want 10 weeks notice that I’m going to apply for maternity leave but if I give them 10 weeks notice they could get rid of me before I’m even eligible for the centrelink paid parental scheme (10 months out of 13 months) I just don’t know what to do & where I stand.. I also don’t want to loose my job cause I need to go back to work after I have this bub, we just can’t afford to live off 1 income..

    • Hi Stresshead! Whoa – no wonder you’re stressing. Your question sure is a spinner! First of all – it is totally against the law if they ‘get rid of you’ because you’re pregnant. That’s discrimination and I imagine that they’d know this and would be hesitant to do something that is both illegal and immoral. Also 10 weeks is pretty standard practice so they’re not asking for something unreasonable. There’s more information here in this article:

      So, I hope that they will do the right thing by you and you’ll still be entitled to the Government’s Parental Leave Pay – as for your company’s maternity leave policy I really can’t say. Each company – although they must abide by the law and provide you with your entitlements – works differently. Which is good news for employees in a lot of cases, because there’s some flexibility there (unlike the government payment, where it is cut and dry, you’ll either eligible or not). They very well could give you the maternity leave with pay but you won’t know until you apply.

      I’m sorry that I couldn’t be of more help but I hope it stops you stressing a little to know that you do have rights. Take care xx

  65. hi,

    I am 35 weeks pregnant now and due by the 19th of August 2016. I started work as a full time permanent employee with a company lat year ie on 26th of October 2015. I understand that to be eligible for the paid parental leave I should have worked for 295 days. So starting from 26th October if I calculate 295 days then it will be the 16th of August. I have definitely worked 330 hours since I am a full time employee working 5 days a week. Now my question is, will I still be eligible for paid parental leave if I start my maternity leave by 1st week of August? Is the 295 day time frame calculated till the day the baby is born or is it till the day I go on maternity leave. If my baby arrives as expected by the 19th of August or any time after the 16th of August(295 days) I am sure I will be eligible. But getting really confused if the start date of my maternity leave is going to affect my eligibility. If I start maternity leave (it is going to be unpaid leave from day 1 of my maternity leave since I have already consumed all my annual and sick leaves) on 1st August will I still be eligible or should I be working till 16th of August?

    • Hi Resh,

      Congrats on your pregnancy. Hope you’re going well.

      It is my understanding that the work test is based on the 10 out of 13 months before the expected due date and if that is correct then it doesn’t matter (within reason – although there is special consideration taken from premature birth) when you begin your leave.

      So you should be able to begin your leave (and receive the Parental Leave Pay) from August 1.

      See the examples given at the bottom of this page:

      They all do the calculation up to the day before the due date.

      Hope this helps. Please remember though that I’m not affiliated with centrelink or the government and am not an expert in all this.

      Thanks. Take care xx

  66. Hi,
    I am just wondering if I’m still going to be eligible for the 18 weeks government paid parental leave if my employer is paying me 14 weeks at full pay maternity leave since the government have been trying to stop ‘double dipping’? I understand this act has been ‘shelved’ by the government but can this still come into affect anytime? My due date is 31st October.
    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Erin!

      Congrats on your pregnancy. Not too long to go now.

      At the moment, yes, this has been shelved as it couldn’t get through parliament. So at the moment you are able to access both.

      I guess now they’re in power again they could technically try to get it through again. Although they still don’t have a great deal of power really. Still, in most cases when a change this big does occur they usually give some notice – mostly they wait until the start of a new financial year or set a date in the future that means people currently pregnant aren’t affected. That is what happened when they scrapped the Baby Bonus.

      So – I’d be very surprised if things changed before your due date but I guess anything’s possible so if I were you I’d err on the side of caution and be smart about how I spent my money (which is always a good idea anyway I suppose especially when there’s a baby on the way)>

      Best of luck xx

  67. Hi,

    I am working as permanent part time between 30 to 36 hours per week. Has been working with the company for the last 12 years.

    I am due on 20th November 2016 and giving my last day as permanent by the end of October 2016. The company will keep me in the role as casual while I am taking my parental leave for 6 months from beginning of November 2016 and will return to my original role again.

    Just wondering if I am eligible for paternity leave payment from the government scheme

    Thank you,

    • Hi Ana,

      Thanks for your question and congrats on your pregnancy!

      Firstly I’m just not quite sure I understand. You should be entitled to a full year of leave and they should still hold the job for you. I think this is the case even for permanent part-time although I’m not an expert at these things. I would think they should especially given you’ve been there so long. Anyway – perhaps you have preferred to take only 6 months in which case that’s fine. I just didn’t want them to be not giving you all you’re entitled too.

      The other reason I ask is because they’ve said they will keep you on as casual. Is this your request? As you should be able to have your job secure without doing this.

      Will you be actually working casually during the six months? Or just ‘on the books’ as a casual worker?

      I ask because this will be the difference between you receiving the government parental leave pay or not (provided you meet all the other eligiblity criteria).

      You cannot work while receiving Parental Leave Pay. As soon as you work your payments will end. There are provisions for what they call ‘keeping in touch’ days that allow employers to do things like training on the new computer system or important meetings that will be necessary before they return to the job – but these aren’t for just everyday ‘work’ things.

      So basically if you meet all the eligibility criteria (residency test, income test etc) then you should be able to receive Parental Leave Pay but only if you don’t work for the 18 weeks you receive it.

      Hope that makes sense! All the best xx

  68. Hi,

    Wondering if you can help me with my query regarding paternity payments. My dude date is on 08 Oct 2016, I have started working on casual position since 05 June 2015 till date.

    As per the eligibilty criteria –

    – have worked 10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of your child, and
    330 hours in that 10 month period (just more than one day a week) with no more than an 8-week gap between two consecutive working days.

    As per the above I understand that my 13 month period starts from 08 Sep 2015 to 07 Oct 2016 and the 10 month criteria will be from 08 Sep 2015 to 08 July 2016.

    Also, covered the total 330 hours criteria as my total hours worked is more than 460 hours till date.

    Now, my query is as I am on casual positon and I am not continuously working and have been on and off to work during my 10 months criteria period.

    I was working continuously since Sep 2015 to 28 Oct 2015 (working atleast 4 days in a week), taken a break from 28 Oct 2015 till 20 Nov 2015 and again started
    working continuously from 23 Nov 2015 till 17 March 2016.

    Again after 17 March worked on only 06 May 2016 (1 day) and again worked on 17 June 2016 ( 1 day ) and from 17 June 2016 till now working continuously 1 day every week.

    From the above gaps I have never taken no more than 8- week gap between two consecutive working days. Could you please let me know if I satisfy the criteria for the
    paternity pay based on the working day gaps I have taken.

    Also, I have a confusion as in till which date I shall continue to work, is it ok if I can work till 08 July 2016 to get the payments or work till 13 Aug 2016. (no more than
    an 8- week gap criteria).

    Hope you will clarify my queries.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Mary! Congrats on your pregnancy. Hope you are going well. I’m not too sure about this one, as there are many factors to consider. Looks like you’ve done the maths though and have satisfied all the criteria. So I’m confident you’d be eligible – the only thing that confuses me too is the leave date. I would think that you’d have to continue to work until August otherwise you’d not be eligible because of the 8-week gap criteria.

      But please remember that I’m no expert and I’m not affiliated with Centrelink at all. I’m just another Australian trying to make sense of it all. I’d hate for you to miss out on something you are eligible for so please double check all of this with Centrelink.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. All the best xx

  69. Hi, wondering if you can help. My wife had been working for more than 10 years until the end of September last year before taking a few months break. She took up a new job that started mid February this year. Our baby is due around mid September. Her company can’t really give her paternity leave payment since she is considered ‘new’ (working less than 1 year) Do you know if she is eligible for paternity leave payment from the government?


    • Hi Henry – congrats on your impending arrival! Not long to go now!

      Unfortunately though, based on those dates I don’t think your wife is eligible for the government’s Parental Leave Pay.

      To be eligible she has to:
      – have worked 10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of your child, and
      330 hours in that 10 month period (just more than one day a week) with no more than an 8-week gap between two consecutive working days.

      Even if she works right up until her due date (not really a good idea) that’s still only about seven months in this new job with five months off beforehand. She won’t make the 10 months and she’s had more than an 8-week gap.

      She may still be eligible for the Newborn Supplement – if she’s eligible for Family Tax A – and you may be eligible for 2 weeks of Dad and Partner Pay (if your employer doesn’t offer any paid leave). There’s more info about other payments in this article:

      And please check all this with centrelink. I’m no expert and I’m not affiliated with them whatsoever.

      Sorry I didn’t have better news. All the best xx

  70. Hi, I am stuck on a question in the form ‘Have you started or returned to work for the first time since having a baby or after a period out of the workforce to care for a child?’

    I went on maternity leave in November 2014, had my son in December 2014 and returned to my work August 2015. I will be taking maternity leave from August 2016 for a year. With my first pregnancy I was paid work parental leave and government parental leave and will do the same with this pregnancy.

    Is the question asking me about my last pregnancy? Or as I was still technically employed while I was on maternity leave does it not count?

    Thanks so much

    • Hi Pat! Congrats on your pregnancy! Hope you’re feeling well!

      I remember that question – it had me stuck too. I think this is the reason they ask it: If you are returning to work for the first time since the birth of your child or since your child entered your care, you may be eligible for a higher rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B.

      So – I think that it counts that you returned to work in August 2015. I’m no expert though so really Centrelink might be the best point of contact.

      While you’re on hold for ages through – maybe try posting your question on our forum too – there may be some much wiser folk there who’d have a more definite answer.

      Here’s our family finances section –

  71. Hi All,

    I am little bit confuse about paid parental leave. My due date is 27 oct 2016 and I am working as a full time contractor from 13 July 2015. I have to leave this job from 1st Aug 2016 , so will I get the paid parental leave in this case if I leave this job? After child birth, I need to find the new job after some period of time so am I eligible for the paid parental leave in this case?

    • Hi! Congrats on your pregnancy. To get parental leave pay you must work for at least 10 out of the 13 months before your baby is born. It sounds like from the dates above that you’ll meet this work requirement. You do not have to return to work after the birth of your baby to be eligible.

      Hope this helps. All the best xx

      • Hi,

        Thanks for your quick reply.

        1) What about If I have to leave the job in this month?
        2) What If I continue for 2 days in a week from this week to september 2016?

        • If you work for most of July you should still met the criteria – you’ll need 10 months work since October 2015 (including that month). 10 months will be Oct15, Nov15, Dec15, Jan16, Feb16, Mar16, Apr16, May16, Jun16, Jul16. If you continue till September you’ll definitely be eligible (of course you have to meet all the other requirements – income, residency etc). Two days a week is plenty to meet the work requirements.

          Remember that I’m just a person trying to figure it all out too so you should make sure you check ALL eligibility criteria with Centrelink.

          • Thank you very much for your answer. I appreciate your help. Yes fortunately I am fit in all other eligibility criteria.

            Thanks again…

  72. Hi there,
    I’m due in 4 weeks, and already started my 12 months maternity leave.
    Would you please take me step by step what to go to get the 18 weeks parental leave pay?
    I was trying to do it through the Centrelink website, but it seems to be down at all times.
    I’m not able to create the customer access number. Without it, I won’t be able to move forward.
    Been trying to complete this for a week now. Centrelink phone line does not answer..
    I’m just a resident (not a citizen) and I’m not sure where should I go, or turn to get some help.
    I found some online forums, where I read that the website is on and off pretty much all the time.
    I’d be very grateful for some help.

    • Hi Gosia! Congrats on your pregnancy. Hope this isn’t causing you too much stress. My advice would be to visit Centrelink if possible. From what I read on their website you’ll need to do this to set up a CRN. You can find your nearest one here –

      Once you’ve got that you’ll be able to apply for payments online.

      Hope this helps. All the best xx

  73. Hello, my current (new) job is paying me $155K per annum, But I know that my taxable income for financial year ending will be less that $150K due to less paying job previously. Baby will be due in February. Am I correct in saying that I will still be eligible because my last FY income before baby is due is less than 150, and not based on my current annual income?

    • Hi Frey,

      Congrats on your pregnancy. Hope all is going well.

      As far as I can see, yes, you are right. Your eligibility for Parental Leave Pay will be determined on the adjusted taxable income this financial year (2015/2016). Take note that they say ‘adjusted taxable income’. Adjusted means you’ll have to also take into account things like superannuation that you pay (if you pay extra above your employer’s contribution) and other fringe benefits. There’s more info here:

      Hope this helps. All the best xx

  74. Whilst i am only 12 weeks pregnant i was looking at the paid parental leave form online to prepare myself.

    I noticed on the centrelink website it states to meet the work requirements you need to work 10 out of 13 months. While reading the actual form i read :

    ” To meet the Paid Parental Leave work test you must have:
    worked for at least 295 days (approximately 10 months) of the 392 days (approximately
    13 months) before the birth or adoption of your child, and
    • worked at least 330 hours in that 295 day (approximately 10 month) period (just over 1 day a
    week) with no more than an 8 week (56 day) gap between 2 working days.”

    i worked out that 295 days over 13 months is 22.6 days a month which equals 5 days a week, every week for the entire 13 month period with no unpaid leave

    Am i interpreting this wrong or is this leave only available to those that work 5 days a week up until they give birth?

    • Hi Karajade! Congratulations on your pregnancy. Hope everything is going well.

      I do believe you are interpreting this incorrectly. Although I am no expert of course.

      But in my experience it is not about the number of exact days you work (ie. you only work three days a week) but the number of days that you’re employed. So if you’re employed by a company then you count all the days that you’re employed (even if you only work three days a week that counts as the whole week – so 7 days). If you leave a job and don’t find another for a month then that’s 30 days that can’t count towards this requirement but as long as your in employment for the rest of the time (at least 10 out of the 13 months) then you’ll be right.

      So, really you probably don’t need to do all that maths. You might be overthinking it.

      They’ve worked it out that it is just over a day a week to meet that eligibility requirement so if you’re employed and meeting that (and the other eligibility requirements like income, residency etc) then you should be right. You’ll have to check all this with centrelink of course.

      Hope this helps! All the best xx

  75. I am a part time worker I get 20 hours a week. I’m entitled to the paid parental leave scheme, I’ve had my baby and should be reviewing it shortly. I was just wondering will I recive the $657 per week before tax or will i receive less because I’m a part time worker on mess hours than a full time worker? Or do we all receive the same amount? (I usually earn $425 a week)

    • Hi Gemma! Congrats on your new baby! Hope you’re all settling in well.

      The good news is that everyone receives the same amount of Parental Leave Pay so if you’re eligible then you’ll receive the $657/week before tax. Enjoy the payrise! Take care xx

  76. Hello,

    my wife is not Pernamet resident yet (she is on defacto visa, subclass 820), is she eligible for the parental pay leave? She worked for the same company 2 years fulltime.

    is the a difference between maternity leave and paid paretnal leave?

    If my wife is not eligible for maternity/parental leave what are the other options?

    Thank you

    • Hi Roman. Thanks for your question.

      Firstly the difference between maternity leave and paid parental leave.

      Maternity Leave is just leave. As in, time off work. If you’ve been working for the same employer for 12 months you’re entitled to at least 12 months off work following the birth of a baby. You’re also entitled to return to the same job with the same pay etc. Some companies might offer paid leave (at least in part) but often it is unpaid.

      Paid Parental Leave or Parental Leave Pay is a government payment (the details are in the article above). This is just money.

      Now, for your first question. You don’t have to be an Australian citizen to receive Parental Leave Pay. You just have to meet the resident requirements which are:

      When your child is born or adopted, you must be living in Australia and (one of the following):

      – have Australian citizenship
      – hold a permanent visa
      – hold a special category visa, or
      -hold a temporary visa; for example, a partner provisional, interdependency or temporary protection visa

      There are other requirements of course (most are listed above) so it is still essential that you chat to Centrelink about your own individual circumstances.

      Hope this helps.

      Take care xx

  77. If I leave my job presently. And get a new job and have the baby before the 12 months is up can I still get the maternity leave payment from the government? I work full time and will do at my new job. No break in between.

    • Hi Maybe baby!

      You WILL be eligible for the government Parental Leave Pay under those circumstances (and provided all meet all the other eligibility criteria). To receive the pay you need only to have worked for 10 out of the 13 months before your baby is born (no matter if you change employers).

      The issue is this though … you are only entitled to Maternity Leave, which is the actual time off from your job (and the ability to return to the same role afterwards), if you’ve been with your employer for 12 months. Your employer might be willing to negotiate on this of course but technically you’ll need to have been there for those 12 months to be eligible.

      Hope that makes sense. All the best xx

  78. Hi, I am a teacher and will receive 16 weeks paid maternity leave and then also 18 weeks government parental leave. Am I able to receive both payments at the same time, or only one after the other?? Thanks

    • hi Ktango. Congrats on your pregnancy. Honestly though, I have no idea about the answer to your question. I know you’re still able to take both, but I’ve only ever heard of people taking them one after another. This might be a good question to ask our forum members. There’s possibly someone on the forum who has been in your situation – there are quite a few teacher/mother members. Here’s a link, just post your question in this section:

      And please come back when you know an answer. I’m sure it will be helpful for many other readers.

      Sorry I couldn’t help more. All the best xx

      • You can take them both at the same time. I did this – took 14 weeks maternity leave and then 4 weeks annual from my employer at the same time I took my 18 weeks of govenment leave.

  79. Hi, I had a baby on the 19th June 2015. I returned to work around 3 months after my son was born , so around 7th September 2015.
    I’m pregnant again and due the 28th November 2016. I would love to go on Maternity leave a few months before this baby is due. What is the earliest date I could finish up and start my maternity leave? Could I also utilise my holidays to try and start it earlier? Thank you.

    • Hi Jmac!

      Congratulations on your pregnancy.

      If you want to receive Parental Leave Pay you must meet the eligibility criteria. In terms of the ‘working test’ you must have worked 10 out of the past 13 months to be eligible. By my calculations you would have worked for 10 months by July 7-ish. If you stopped work around that date (provided your date of September 7 is correct and you meet all the other criteria) then you will have worked for 10 months and should be eligible for Parental Leave Pay.

      You are also entitled to take Maternity Leave (which is just the time off and the right to return to your role etc) if you’ve worked for the employer for more than 12 months. When having another child, you don’t have to work for another 12 months before you can take another period of maternity leave with that same employer. So if you were in that same job before your first son was born then you should be right in terms of taking the leave as well as receiving the Parental Leave Pay.

      Of course, make sure you check your specific circumstances with your employer and Centrelink.

      All the best xx

  80. Hi, I left my full-time job in early December 2014 and went on maternity leave, returning in October 2015. I returned on a part-time basis, three days a week. As I chose to go from 5 days to 3 days, I accepted the role back as a contractor with no annual leave or sick leave entitlements. I just wanted to double check that I’m not in actual fact entitled to those leave entitlements, somehow? I just assumed I wasn’t…

  81. Hi there, I cannot for the life of me find the actual online application. It keeps sending me in circles… any help would be greatly appreciated!

  82. Hey
    Am applying for parental leave at the moment and am a bit confused by one of the work test questions. It asks if I will be working at least 8 hours a week between 15th May 15 and 6th June 16 (the due date).
    I will not be working at least 8 hours/week between these dates as I plan to go on unpaid maternity leave at 37 weeks (from 18th May 16).
    I am just a bit freaked out about saying no to this question – is this going to make me somehow ineligible?

    • hi Mrs_M!

      That’s a weird one – I would have thought it perfectly normal for most women applying for the PPL scheme to be off work in those weeks before the due date. Have you worked for the 10 out of 13 months prior to those dates?

      If so, I wouldn’t say you’d be ineligible but I understand your hesitation in answering that question.

      It has been a good couple of years now since I filled out that form so maybe you could post your question on our forum. There will be many there who have recently gone through the process. Here’s the link:

      Otherwise you can really only check with centrelink to be sure. Maybe post on the forum while you’re on hold!!

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help! All the best xx

  83. Hi
    I am due on Nov 15th but only returned to work on Jan 24th this year after taking a year to care for my first baby. I could not return to work any earlier as I am a teacher and it was school holidays. It means that I am going to miss out on the ppl by 9 DAYS!!!! We are gutted and this money is vital to us. Is there any way around this? I started maternity leave in Dec 2014 and planned on returning in Dec 2015 but as it was school holidays I had to wait until the new school year so technically not my fault. Any advice would be more than welcome.

    • Hi Dhonaile. Thanks for your question – how disappointing for you. Have you checked all this with Family Assistance? First thing I would do would be to make sure that this is correct. As a teacher perhaps ‘technically’ you started on January 1? Even though it was school holidays? Did you get paid annual leave for those dates between the end of your maternity leave and before you actually started back at work? I know that is the case in some circumstances. Hope so. But definitely worth approaching Centrelink to know for sure. All the best xx

  84. Hi, I am due in August and am planning to take 10 weeks Mat leave then 6 weeks annual leave followed by 4 week purchased annual leave. I work full- time and my husband has been the main carer for our current 2 children and will be for the 3 kid as of my return to work after all my leave. My husband works part time and doesn’t earn anymore than the 18 week parental leave pay on offer. Can he take the leave instead of me? is it possible for him to take this leave after the planned 20 weeks i’m taking? It would be amazing if he was able to take this time off for our children.

    • Hi Jane,

      Thanks for your question and congrats on your pregnancy!

      The good news is that you are able to transfer your Parental Leave Pay to your partner.

      I found this on the Centrelink site:

      “If you are the birth mother of a newborn child or the initial primary carer of an adopted child, in most circumstances you must submit the claim and establish eligibility for the payment. If you claim and meet the eligibility requirements, you may transfer some or all of your unused Parental Leave Pay to your partner”

      I don’t know for sure if there’s a time limit for this though so you’ll need to ask Family Assistance, and you still need to meet all the eligibility criteria etc.

      We’d be interested to know the answer to the time limit question so if you think of it, please come back to update us –

      Thanks and all the best xx

    • Hi Kate, Thanks for your comment. If you meet all the other eligibility criteria then yes – at the moment (March 2016) – you can receive both. The government has looked into stopping this from happening – they called it ‘double-dipping’ but so far they haven’t been able to get it through parliament. It is one of the many reasons we are heading toward a double dissolution election.

      Hope this helps xx

  85. Hi There,

    My wife is self employed running her own business so she obviously does not have weekly/monthly pay slips to show that she has paid herself. She generally waits till the EOFY to figure out how much profit she has made before paying herself as an employee. So was wondering if you have any idea as to how she would go about applying for the PPL as she does not have weekly payslips but her business can show her contract jobs and seeing clients at her clinic. Appreciate any feedback

    • Hi Vic,

      Thanks for your question. I don’t claim to be an expert on these things but I can try to help based on what I know about paid parental leave.

      Your wife has to meet a few criteria to be eligible.

      One criteria is the ‘work test’ which means she need to have worked 10 out of the 13 months before the birth of the baby. She will need to be able to show Family Assistance her hours of work (I’m not exactly sure what form they require this in).

      A second criteria is the income test – this is separate from the ‘work test’ and for this she will need to have received an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year either before the date of birth.

      So if she should be able to provide her income details for the last financial year as proof of income.

      Hope that makes some sense! All the best xx

  86. Hi, do you know if PPL can be paid direct to myself if I am (and still) will be employed at the time I take it? I’ve done the application and it didn’t have an option, so defaulted to my employer paying it however I don’t think I will be returning to work for them and would like to cut ties so to speak and get it paid direct to me.

    • Hi Dani!

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately I don’t really know the answer. I know that it is possible to have PPL paid directly to you under certain circumstances but I’m not sure how to those circumstances apply to your own situation. Here’s what I found on the PPL site though…

      Payment by us

      We will pay you directly in fortnightly instalments if your employer does not have to provide your Parental Leave Pay, if you do not have an employer, or if you are self employed.

      And this is how they define the ‘does not have to’ bit …

      Your employer will provide your payment in your usual pay cycle if you:

      have worked for them for 12 months or more before the expected date of birth or adoption. For Australian Public Service (APS) employees, all APS employment is included in the employment period
      will be their employee until at least the end of your Paid Parental Leave period
      are an Australian-based employee, and
      expect to receive at least 8 weeks of Parental Leave Pay

      If you do not meet these criteria, your employer is not required to provide your payment.

      I would say that you will have to check with Centrelink to be sure.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help! Take care xx

  87. Hello,
    I am wondering if you know if Dad and Partner pay is for 14 consecutive days, or 14 consecutive work days? So if my husband works 5 days a week will he be entitled to Mon-Fri, Mon-Fri, Mon- Thurs?
    Also are public holidays taken into the equation and not counted towards the 14 days?

    • Hi Peta,

      Thanks for your question. The Dad and Partner Leave Pay is a one-off payment for Dads and Partners. It is based on two weeks of pay at the minimum wage – which is at the moment $657/week.

      However, the payment is just money – it is a not an entitlement to leave. You partner would have to talk to his employer about which days he can take leave and his individual circumstances.

      Hope that makes sense. All the best xx

  88. I was just wondering if i leave one job and go to another and fall pregnant at the new job straight away will i still be entitled to the paid parental leave even though i haven’t worked for this employer for 12 months before the baby is due?

    • Hi Amanda, thanks for your question. Short answer is yes. To be eligible to PPL you have to have worked for 10 out of the 13 months before your baby is born. It doesn’t matter if you switch employers. HOWEVER – PPL is just money and if you switch employers you might not be entitled to take maternity LEAVE (which is your entitlement to take time off work to care for your baby). Your company must offer you 12 months of unpaid leave but only once you’ve worked there for 12 months. There’s more information about maternity leave in this post:
      Hope that makes sense. You’ll have to check with your employer regarding maternity leave policies and also Centrelink to make sure you meet all the other criteria to receive PPL.

      All the best xx

  89. I earn a salary in excess of $150k but my husband is studying and only working part time in the service industry. Does this mean that I will not be eligible to receive government paid parental leave but that a couple where the women earns less than $150k but her partner earns more that $150k would be eligible?

    • Hi Mary. From what I can tell, you are correct. PPL is based on your individual salary rather than your family salary. Best check with Centrelink still as to what might be available to you and to chat through your individual circumstances. Perhaps you’re eligible for Family Tax Benefit and then also the Newborn Supplement? Sorry I couldn’t offer more advice! take care xx

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