Paid Parental Leave scheme for employers

Support for employers to assist eligible employees to access Paid Parental Leave.

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You need to know

About the scheme

The Paid Parental Leave scheme allows eligible parents to take time off work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child.

The financial support provided by the scheme complements parents’ existing birth or adoption entitlements to paid and unpaid leave.

The Paid Parental Leave scheme is designed to:

  • recognise that taking time out of the paid workforce to care for a child is part of the usual course of life for parents
  • promote equality between men and women, and
  • balance work and family life

The scheme also helps employers to:

  • retain valuable and skilled staff by encouraging them to stay connected with their workplace when they become parents
  • enhance family friendly workplace conditions without having to fund Parental Leave Pay themselves, and
  • increase long term workforce participation by parents

There are 2 payments under the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Parental Leave Pay

Parental Leave Pay is paid to the child’s primary carer. Eligible parents may get up to 18 weeks of pay based on the rate of the national minimum wage. To be eligible, parents must be:

  • on paid or unpaid leave, or
  • not working from the time they become their child’s primary carer until the end of their Paid Parental Leave period

In most cases, employers provide Parental Leave Pay to their eligible employees. We provide the necessary Paid Parental Leave funds to employers.

Dad and Partner Pay

Dad and Partner Pay is for eligible working dads or partners, including adopting parents and same sex couples. They may get up to 2 weeks of pay based on the national minimum wage. They must either be on unpaid leave or not working during this time.

We always pay Dad and Partner Pay to your employees directly. Your employee may approach you about taking unpaid leave so they can receive the payment.

Employers' role in the Paid Parental Leave scheme

Employers play an important role in the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Read more about employers' role in the Paid Parental Leave scheme

Employee eligibility

It’s our job to assess whether your employee can get Paid Parental Leave. First, they need to submit a claim to us.

Read more about eligibility for Parental Leave Pay.

Read more about eligibility for Dad and Partner Pay.

Employers opting in to administer Parental Leave Pay

You can opt in to provide Parental Leave Pay to employees you aren't required to provide it to.

Read more about opting in to provide Parental Leave Pay

Parental Leave Pay's effect on existing leave entitlements

The scheme is designed to complement existing workplace entitlements. It provides payments but doesn't provide a new entitlement to leave.

Read more about the effect on existing leave entitlements

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Preparing for Parental Leave Pay

If you and your employee have agreed on leave arrangements, there are steps you should follow to ensure you’re prepared to provide Parental Leave Pay.

Read more about how to prepare for your role in the scheme

Information your employee will need to provide

We’ll ask your employee:

  • what their working arrangements are; for example, if they’re a permanent employee, casual employee or contractor
  • whether they’ll still be employed by you when they’re receiving Parental Leave Pay - this includes if they’ll be on unpaid leave
  • their employee identification number, if applicable
  • the date they started working for you, and
  • whether they give permission for you to provide their Parental Leave Pay

We’ll also ask them some questions about your business, including:

  • the name or trading name
  • the ABN, and
  • the name and contact details of a Paid Parental Leave scheme contact in the business

Your employee will choose their Paid Parental Leave period

When your employee submits their claim to us, they’ll tell us when they want their Paid Parental Leave period to start.

It can start from the day their child is born or adopted, or on a later date. However:

  • to receive the maximum 18 weeks of pay, the Paid Parental Leave period must start within 34 weeks of the birth or adoption, and
  • they must receive all of their Parental Leave Pay within 52 weeks of the birth or adoption of their child

Your employee can take Parental Leave Pay before, after, or at the same time as any type of paid or unpaid leave, but it must be taken:

  • in 1 continuous block, and
  • after the child has entered their care

After an employee submits a claim for Parental Leave Pay

If you’re providing your employee’s Parental Leave Pay, we’ll be in touch with you to let you know when payments will start.

If we’re administering your employee’s Parental Leave Pay, you only need to let us know if their circumstances change, for example, if your employee returns to work early.

Employers providing Parental Leave Pay

You should provide Parental Leave Pay to your employee in the same way you pay salary or wages.

Read more about providing Parental Leave Pay

Managing

Keeping in Touch with your employee receiving Parental Leave Pay

The Keeping in Touch provision is designed to help your employee return to work after their parental leave.

Read more about the Keeping in Touch provisions

What to do when circumstances change

Under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010, you must tell us about events that affect or are likely to affect your employee’s Parental Leave Pay.

When you need to notify us

You need to tell us if, before the end of your employee’s Paid Parental Leave period:

  • your employee either returns to work or takes more than 10 Keeping in Touch days
  • your employee stops working for you
  • your Parental Leave Pay contact officer changes
  • your bank account details change
  • your employee’s pay cycle changes
  • you're unable to provide Parental Leave Pay to your employee
  • you've received an incorrect amount of funds from us, or
  • you're no longer trading, selling your business, transferring ownership or merging with another business

You can do this online using Centrelink Business Online Services

For more information, read the Employer Toolkit or call the National Business Gateway.

If your employee returns to work early

Your employee can return to work before the end of their Paid Parental Leave period if they want to, as long as you agree. You’ll need to tell us if they return to work because their Parental Leave Pay must stop from the day they return.

Under the National Employment Standards, your employee usually has the right to say no if you ask them to return to work before the end of their Paid Parental Leave period or a period of unpaid parental leave they’re entitled to. Read more on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Stillbirth or infant death

In cases of stillbirth or infant death, eligible employees will continue to receive their Parental Leave Pay.

We won’t impose any specific rules that may result in employees being financially worse off in these situations.

Your employee may ask us to provide their Parental Leave Pay directly. We’ll advise you if you’re no longer required to provide Parental Leave Pay.

Your employee won’t lose their Parental Leave Pay if they choose to return to work before the end of their Paid Parental Leave period.

When to stop providing Parental Leave Pay

You should only stop providing Parental Leave Pay to an employee when we ask you to.

We may ask you to stop providing Parental Leave Pay because:

  • your employee’s Paid Parental Leave period has finished
  • your employee is transferring some of their Parental Leave Pay to another primary carer
  • your employee has returned to work, except in cases of stillbirth or infant death
  • your employee has used more than 10 Keeping in Touch days before the end of their Paid Parental Leave period
  • the person is no longer your employee
  • your employee has been granted an income support payment from us, or
  • we have determined that your employee is no longer eligible for Parental Leave Pay

Your financial reporting and tax

You have financial reporting and taxation obligations when it comes to administering Parental Leave Pay.

Read more about your financial reporting and tax

Overpayments

In some circumstances, you may have more funds than required and you’ll have to repay us.

This could happen if you’ve already received funds from us but:

  • we decide your employee is no longer entitled to Parental Leave Pay, or
  • you’re unable to pay your employee’s Parental Leave Pay, for example, if your employee has closed their bank account and you’re unable to contact them

When we become aware of an overpayment, we’ll work out how much needs to be repaid. We’ll ask you to repay excess funds within 28 days of receiving a notice from us.

Paid Parental Leave scheme reviews, appeals and disputes

You can ask for a review or appeal a decision we make.

Read more about reviews, appeals and disputes

Resources

Information about the scheme for parents

If you’re a parent needing information about the Paid Parental Leave scheme, read more about Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay.

Paid Parental Leave scheme Employer Toolkit

The Employer Toolkit can assist employers, human resources staff, accountants and tax practitioners prepare for their role in the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Read more about the Paid Parental Leave scheme Employer Toolkit

National Business Gateway

The National Business Gateway is a national contact centre dedicated to making it easier for you to do business with us.

For employers - information in your language

If you speak a language other than English, you can view information on the Paid Parental Leave scheme for employers in your language.

Top myths about the Paid Parental Leave scheme for employers

Let’s debunk some of the common myths you might come across as an employer about the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Read more about top myths about the Paid Parental Leave scheme for employers

Employer checklist for parental leave

The employer checklists on the Fair Work Ombudsman website can help you make sure you have followed all the steps you need to when an employee requests parental leave.

Supporting Working Parents website

Find out about your legal obligations to employees who are pregnant, employees on parental leave and working parents on the Supporting Working Parents website.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017