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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 more information on this and more benefits you may be eligible for.

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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151 comments so far -

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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!

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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?)

  33. 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!

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. 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

  41. 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 –

  42. 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…

  43. 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

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. 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.

  50. 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

  51. 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…

  52. 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!

  53. 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

  54. 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

  55. 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

  56. 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

  57. 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

  58. 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

  59. 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

  60. 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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