Information for employers about new parents on leave from work
1. The Australian Government provides financial support for eligible parents through the Paid Parental Leave scheme. This helps parents take time off work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child.
This scheme has 2 payments available to working parents:
• Parental Leave Pay• Dad and Partner Pay.
Parental Leave Pay is for the child’s primary carer. Parents can get up to 18 weeks’ paid leave.
Dad and Partner Pay is for working dads or partners, including adopting parents and same-sex couples. They can get up to 2 weeks’ paid leave.
Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers may be eligible for either payment.
An employee may still get these payments if there is a stillbirth or infant death.
2. How the scheme helps your business and parents
The Paid Parental Leave scheme helps you:
-keep valuable and skilled staff by encouraging them to stay connected with your workplace when they become parents
-create a family friendly workplace without having to fund Parental Leave Pay yourself
-increase workforce participation for new parents in the long-term.
The scheme helps parents by:• giving them financial help while they take time off work to care for a new child• promoting equality between men and women and balance between work and family life.
3. Your role in the scheme
You play an important role in the Paid Parental Leave scheme.
Your employee may ask to take leave so they can get Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay.
It is up to your employee to apply for Parental Leave Pay through us and negotiate leave arrangements with you. To get Parental Leave Pay, your employee must meet all eligibility requirements.
We will contact you if you have to provide Parental Leave Pay to an employee. We will also provide the necessary Paid Parental Leave funds to you.
You need to provide Parental Leave Pay for an eligible employee who:
-has a newborn or recently adopted child
-has worked for you for at least 12 months before the expected date of birth or adoption
-will be your employee until at least the end of their Paid Parental Leave period
-lives in Australia, and
-is expected to get at least 8 weeks of Parental Leave Pay.
Your business must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) to participate in the scheme.
If your employee does not meet the above criteria, you are not required to provide Parental Leave Pay. However, if you both agree, you can still choose to provide it to your employee if they are eligible. You will not need to provide Parental Leave Pay to your employee before you have received the funds from us.
With Dad and Partner Pay, you only need to be aware that your employee may ask you about taking unpaid leave so they can get Dad and Partner Pay. You do not have to provide Dad and Partner Pay to your employee. We will assess their individual claim and pay them if they are eligible.
4. Talking to your employee about parental leave
If your employee is expecting or adopting a child, talk to them early about their plans.
Some topics to cover are:
-what leave is available and how it might be taken at the same time as Parental Leave Pay (for example, paid or unpaid leave)
-when your employee would like to start their leave and when they expect to return to work
-how they would like to manage their return to work (for example, returning part-time)
-information your employee needs to provide us about your business when they lodge a claim for Parental Leave Pay.
5. Effect on leave entitlements
The scheme does not give your employees an entitlement to leave. Your employee’s Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay is an addition to their employer provided leave entitlements.
Your long-term employees can get a minimum of 12 months unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act 2009. They can also ask for an additional 12 months unpaid leave on top of this. A long- term employee is someone who has worked for your business for 12 months or more.
If your employee is part of a couple, both may get unpaid parental leave under the National Employment Standards. In these cases, there are some other minimum entitlements you need to be aware of. For example, being able to take up to 3 weeks of unpaid leave at the same time, immediately after the birth or adoption. If you agree, they can take it any time in the first 6 weeks after the birth or adoption. They are also entitled to 24 months unpaid parental leave between the 2 of them.
You cannot withdraw an entitlement to paid maternity or parental leave if it is provided through an industrial agreement or law. This applies for the life of the agreement or law.
6. How we will pay you
You do not have to provide Parental Leave Pay before you have received the funds from us. We will transfer funds into your nominated bank account before your employee’s usual pay cycle cut- off.