On Father’s Day the Australian Government started public consultations on its plan to introduce two weeks of paid leave for dads to take time off work to spend with their newborn babies.
From 1 January 2013, the current Paid Parental Leave scheme will be expanded to include a dedicated payment for dads and other partners. Eligible working dads and other partners will have access to two weeks Dad and Partner Pay at the national minimum wage, which is currently about $590 a week before tax.
The design of Dad and Partner Pay is based closely on the independent expert recommendations of the Productivity Commission.
The new payment will be available to eligible working fathers or partners (including adopting parents and parents in same-sex couples) who share the role of caring for a child born or adopted from 1 January 2013, and who meet the same income test and work test as the current Paid Parental Leave scheme.
A family may receive Dad and Partner Pay either on its own or in addition to other family payments such as Paid Parental Leave, the Baby Bonus and Family Tax Benefit. The mother or other parent does not have to be accessing the Paid Parental Leave scheme for her partner to be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay.
Dad and Partner Pay will cost the Government a projected $188.5 million over 5 years (2010-11 to 2014-15).
A consultation paper on Dad and Partner Pay has been released to ensure that parents and employers can have their say on the new entitlement. Employer and employee groups, small business groups, family and community groups and individuals are invited to make their comments on the consultation paper. The consultation period finishes on 17 October 2011.