Already nearly 6,500 families expecting babies early in 2011 have applied for Paid Parental Leave. Parents can lodge their claims up to three months before their baby’s due date.
By now we are all probably pretty aware of the paid parental leave scheme. To quickly recap:
The scheme provides up to 18 weeks’ Government-funded parental leave pay at the National Minimum Wage (currently $570 per week) for eligible parents of children born or adopted on or after 1 January 2011.
To be eligible for Paid Parental Leave the primary carer must have an individual annual income of $150,000 or less and have worked prior to the birth of their baby. Applicants will meet the work test if they have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) in 10 of the 13 months before the expected date of birth.
The Baby Bonus and other family payments will still be available for eligible families who do not qualify for Paid Parental Leave.
To help women stay connected to their workplace (not to mention creating an administrative nightmare for small business employers who are already overwhelmed by government compliance and paperwork), most mothers will receive parental leave pay through their employer in their usual pay cycle – just like wages and annual leave.
The scheme is estimated to cost around $260 million each year.
Expectant parents can claim Paid Parental Leave at Family Assistance Office website.