Paid parental leave

Paid parental leave complements an employee's existing entitlement to unpaid parental leave under the National Employment Standards. Eligible working parents can receive up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave. The Federal Government's paid parental leave scheme began on 1 January 2011, however you may experience difficulties making a claim and you should watch out for a number of technical traps. At Maurice Blackburn we can help you understand your rights, safeguard your entitlements, and help you through any difficulties arising from a parental leave claim.

Are you eligible for Paid parental leave?

Maurice Blackburn can ensure you’re paid parental leave entitlements. Paid parental leave is available to any employee who received a taxable income of $150,000 or less during the previous financial year and who:

  • has the primary care of a child born or adopted after 1 January 2011
  • is an Australian resident or citizen
  • meets the 'work test' immediately before the birth or adoption of the child, and;
  • has taken leave from their workplace, or not engaged in paid work, from the birth of the baby or adoption of the child.

Parental leave pay is a fixed rate for all eligible parents - regardless of their income - and is calculated with reference to the national minimum wage. The current rate is $570 per week and has been indexed from mid-2012.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for paid parental leave talk to Maurice Blackburn today.

When does your Paid parental leave entitlement cease?

The entitlement to paid parental leave ceases once an employee returns to work. A person returns to work if they perform one hour or more hours of paid work on a single day. This means that if an employee performs even a single hour of paid work, they cease to be eligible. If they are already receiving payments at the time they return to work, their entitlement to any remaining weeks' benefit ceases from the time they perform the work.

However, employees are entitled to 10 'keeping in touch' days while on leave. A keeping in touch day is a working day that allows an employee to keep in touch with their place of work or that facilitates their return to work after their leave. Training or planning days and conferences are examples of 'keeping in touch' activities. Ordinary work activities are not 'keeping in touch' days.

Maurice Blackburn can help you understand the complexities of the paid parental leave scheme and ensure you receive all your entitlements. Talk to one of our employment law experts about your parental leave concerns.