The Federal government, in a bid to boost the gender pay gap, improve women’s workforce participation and lift productivity, announced that paid parental leave in Australia will expand from 18 weeks to 26 weeks by 2026. At present, the scheme provides 18 weeks for the primary caregiver and two weeks for a partner – for a total of 20 weeks – at the minimum wage.
According to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, this plan will mean more families take up this leave, share in that precious time, and share the caring responsibilities more equally. This plan will support dads who want to take time off work to be more involved in those early months.
From July 1, 2024, two weeks of paid parental leave will be added to the scheme each year until it reaches 26 weeks by 2026. Paid parental leave will continue to be paid at the National Minimum Wage but without superannuation.
The Government will also introduce reforms to modernize the scheme by allowing parents to split the 26 weeks. The scheme currently provides 18 weeks of leave for the primary caregiver and two weeks for a partner. Other changes include allowing parents to take leave in blocks between periods of paid work.
The Paid Parental Leave scheme doesn’t change any of your employee’s existing leave entitlements or give them a new entitlement to leave.
To get Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay, your employee must meet the work test. There are some exceptions to the work test if they stopped work due to certain circumstances. Your employee may request evidence from you to confirm this.