Did you know that working dads or partners can get up to two weeks of pay from the Federal Government when you are on unpaid leave from work? The Government’s new ‘Dad and Partner Pay’ scheme gives eligible dads and partners $606.50 per week before tax while on unpaid leave helping to care for a child.
To be eligible for ‘Dad and Partner Pay’, you need to be the biological father of the child or partner of the mother of a child born or adopted after 1 January 2013.
Please note that ‘Dad and Partner Pay’ from the Government does not change your workplace leave entitlements under your Enterprise Agreement. So, depending on what your specific EA contains, you may be eligible for both employer-funded parental leave as well as the new two weeks of pay from the Government.
All fathers and partners (ie secondary care givers) are entitled to a minimum of three weeks of unpaid leave immediately following the birth or placement of a child under the law. Fathers and partners may be entitled to more than this minimum under their Enterprise Agreement, but cannot be denied less than the minimum of three weeks of unpaid leave.
Please note that the Public Sector Health Agreement provides one week of paid leave for fathers and partners (excluding casuals) – however under the law a minimum of three weeks of leave applies. This means that under this Agreement fathers and partners could gain one week of paid leave from their employer and a further two weeks of ‘unpaid leave’ for which they receive the new Government Dad and Partner Pay. (NB: paragraph amended 23/5/13)
Paid and unpaid parental leave for mothers
If you are the birth mother (ie primary care giver), you are not eligible for ‘Dad and Partner Pay’ but you may be eligible for the Government’s Parental Leave Pay (as well as any paid parental leave that is in your Agreement).
All mothers (ie primary care givers) are entitled to a minimum of 52 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth or placement of a child under the law if they have responsibility for care of the child. Mothers may be entitled to more than this minimum under their Enterprise Agreement, but cannot be denied less than the minimum of 52 weeks.
In terms of paid parental leave, working mothers are entitled to the Government’s Parental Leave Pay which provides more than $10,900 of support and, in addition, you are entitled to whatever paid leave your employer provides under an Enterprise Agreement.