Hi everyone,

My wife and I are a little unsure where we stand with regards to claiming Paid Parental Leave. We're expecting our first child in May 2019 and trying to figure out what options we have based on our residency/visa situation.

Our situation…
I'm a Kiwi (male) and living in Australia on a Subclass 444 Non-Protected Special Category Visa. My wife is from the UK and she is on a Subclass 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship Visa.
I've held a permanent job at the same employer for the past 7 years. My wife, however, is a contractor and hence does not accrue annual leave, sick leave etc. She's been permanently employed for the past 7 years, albeit in a number of different contract positions at a number of companies. She has been employed in her current contract role for the past 9 months and they’ve advised they will hold her job for up to 8 weeks to allow her to take leave for the birth. This will essentially allow her to take enough unpaid leave to recover from child birth.
Once the 8 weeks is up she will return to work and I plan to become the primary carer of our baby, tak 6-12 months off work. We decided this would be the best plan for our situation based on a few reasons:
· I'm entitled to 10 weeks paid maternity leave from my employer.
· My employer is required to hold my job for up to 12 months, as per Australian law, whereas my wife’s is not as she is on a temporary (but ongoing) contract.
· My wife has a higher income.

The problem...
For me to claim 18 weeks Paid Parental Leave from Centrelink my understanding is that my wife would need to claim first and transfer this to me, however, from what we can gather she does not qualify for PPL as she doesn't meet the Australian residency requirements - https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/residence-descriptions

So essentially, even though as the father I'm eligible and meet the residency requirement, because of the visa my wife is on we will be unable to claim the PPL.
I've phoned Centrelink and the person I spoke with said we would be eligible to claim, however, I don’t think they completely understood our situation and/or did not understand the intricacies of the claiming process for people on a 461 visa. They seemed to think I could just put in an application as the father and it would be approved. This differs from everything I've been able to find on the Department of Human Services website.

After reading as much as could find online, I’m thinking the best option we have is for me to claim the 2 weeks Dad and Partner Pay and we will likely have to miss out on the 18 weeks PPL. I'll still be entitled to 10 weeks paid leave from my employer, but after that time I'll be on unpaid maternity leave.

I think it's pretty clear cut but thought I would ask the question here in case there's maybe something I'm missing which would allow us to qualify for PPL?
I'm hoping someone who has been in a similar situation may be able to advise how they dealt with their situation.
It’s annoying to think that if our situations were reversed, and I was the mother, we would be able to claim PPL.

I'm also going to phone Centrelink again to get a second opinion.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the novel!