Parental Leave Pay

Who can get Parental Leave Pay

To be eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you need to meet certain criteria.

Who can receive it

You must be:

  • the birth mother of a newborn child
  • the adoptive parent of a child, or
  • another person caring for a child under exceptional circumstances

You also need to:

  • meet a work test
  • have earned an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year before the birth or adoption or the date you lodge your claim, whichever is earlier
  • be on leave or not working from your child’s birth or adoption until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period, and
  • meet resident rules and be an Australian citizen or permanent resident

You may also be able to receive Parental Leave Pay if you’re:

  • the partner of the child’s birth mother or adoptive parent and they transfer their Parental Leave Pay and care of the child to you
  • unable to care for your child for a short time during your payment period, or
  • the birth mother and no longer have care of the child due to adoption or surrogacy

You may be able to receive Parental Leave Pay as an adoptive parent. This can include when you’ve had a child placed in your care through a formal foster arrangement with a view to adopt the child.

If you’re not eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you may still be eligible for Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement.

In the case of stillbirth or the death of a child you may be able to get either Parental Leave Pay or Stillborn Baby Payment.

Who can’t receive it

You can’t get Parental Leave Pay if:

  • you don’t meet the eligibility criteria
  • you’re receiving Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement for the same child
  • you’re a temporary foster carer and the child is temporarily entrusted to your care, or
  • you return to work before your Paid Parental Leave period starts

If you get Parental Leave Pay, you can’t also receive Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement for the same child.

Exceptional circumstances

Exceptional circumstances must apply for you to be eligible for Parental Leave Pay without the birth mother or adoptive parent being eligible.

If the birth mother or adoptive parent is unable to care for the child, another person may claim Parental Leave Pay. This is usually in situations such as severe illness or a serious accident.

In exceptional circumstances you may be able to get Parental Leave Pay if you have had a child come into your care within 52 weeks of their birth or adoption and:

  • you’ll care for the child for at least 26 weeks
  • the child hasn’t been placed into your care as part of a decision made by a state or territory child protection agency
  • the child’s birth mother or adoptive parent and their partner are incapable of caring for the child for at least 26 weeks or other approved circumstances exist where it is reasonable that they care for the child.

If you’re eligible under exceptional circumstances, you may be eligible for up to 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay while you take time off work to care for the child. If someone has already started to get Parental Leave Pay and you haven’t met the work test or income test, you may still be eligible for the portion of Parental Leave Pay that was remaining when the initial primary carer stopped being eligible.

Page last updated: 30 May 2018