Increased flexibility introduced into Paid Parental Leave Scheme


19 June 2020


Amendments to the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Cth) will enable eligible parents to access paid parental leave more flexibly.

Currently, eligible parents are entitled to take a fixed 18 week period of paid parental leave within 12 months of the birth or adoption of their child.

From 1 July 2020, eligible parents will be able to take:

  • an initial 12 weeks of paid parental leave (which must be taken within 12 months of the birth or adoption of the child);
  • a second flexible 30 day period of paid parental leave (which can be taken in any number of periods and at any time before the child turns two).

Some employees may choose to take 18 consecutive weeks of paid parental leave by opting to take the 30 day period immediately after the initial 12 week period.

Other employees may wish to use the 30 days more flexibly to support a gradual return to work, for example by returning to work three days each week and taking paid parental leave for the other two days each week, for up to 30 days.

The amendments do not affect any of the eligibility requirements under the scheme.  Nor do the amendments affect unpaid parental leave entitlements available under the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

In relation to the initial 12 week period of leave, the government will continue to make payment to employers, who in turn will continue to pass on the payment to employees.  However employees will receive payment in respect of the new flexible 30 day period of leave directly from the government.

For further advice on how these changes will affect your business or your employees, please contact our specialist workplace law team.

 

This article provides general comments only.  It does not purport to be legal advice.  Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this article, we recommend that you seek professional advice.

 

Authors:

 

Paul Dugan, Principal in our Disputes Team

Contact
Email:  pdugan@dmawlawyers.com.au
Direct Telephone:  +61 8 8210 2266

 

Kylie Dunn, Senior Associate in our Disputes Team

Contact
Email:  kdunn@dmawlawyers.com.au
Direct Telephone:  +61 8 8210 2286

 

The authors would like to thank Lachlan Chuong for his assistance in preparing this article.