Recruitment: Paid parental leave scheme to benefit dads

Beef Central, 13/07/2012

Paid paternity leave legislation finally passed parliament yesterday. Fathers and partners are set to receive two weeks’ government-funded paid paternity leave at the national minimum wage rate of $606 a week from January 2013.

Families Minister Jenny Macklin said the new support would be particularly important for fathers in casual jobs without annual leave entitlements, and self-employed people such as tradespeople, small-business owners and farmers.

This new legislation is heralded as a win for self-employed workers such as tradies and farmers who have no annual leave entitlement.

The amendment to the legislation extends the Paid Parental Leave scheme ( to certain working fathers and partners (including adopting parents and parents in same-sex couples).

To be eligible the partner must have worked at least 330 hours or more than one day a week, in 10 of the 13 months before the birth of the baby, and earning $150,000 or less in the previous financial year. 

It will be available to full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers. The payment will only go to partners who are on unpaid leave and who do not work during the two-week period.

The new payment would be available during the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of a child. It was a "use it or lose it" provision, meaning a dad or partner couldn't transfer the payment to the child's primary carer.

The Paid Parental Leave will be paid in addition to other family payments such as the Baby Bonus and Family Tax Benefit.

Since the scheme was launched in January 2011, 160,000 mothers have applied for 18 weeks’ paid parental leave. Most have been on the low-income scale, with half earning less than $43,700 in the year before the baby was born.

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