There is no mandatory requirement for employers to provide paid parental leave to their employees, in certain circumstances.
However, eligible working dads and partners (including same-sex partners) may be entitled to payment for two weeks leave at the national minimum wage.
These payments are made directly to the employee by the Government.
Known as ‘Dad and Partner Pay’ the payment is intended to be provided to partners who take leave from work in order to support their partners and provide care for their new child. To be eligible, employees need to satisfy specific criteria.
Under the entitlement, working dads and partners get two weeks of paid leave at the national minimum wage of $695.00 per week before tax. The payment is made in one instalment and the Dad and Partner Pay period must be taken in one continuous block.
Dad and Partner Pay is taxable income, so it may affect a person’s existing family assistance payments or access to other entitlements. Eligible workers can receive the Family Tax Benefit, but they must include the income earned from Dad and Partner Pay in their tax return.
For employees on a Parenting Payment or other income support, they must report income received from the Dad and Partner Pay. This extra income earned may reduce the rate of pay from other income support, or result in a loss of eligibility for a short period of time.
Dad and Partner Pay does not affect other paid leave entitlements such as annual leave, paid parental leave or personal leave.
Dad and Partner Pay does not impact upon entitlements to unpaid leave which an employee may have under the Fair Work Act 2009.
To be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay, an employee must either be the:
An employee may also be eligible if they are the partner of the biological father, or the partner of a new carer – as long as the arrangement is not foster care or another permanent care arrangement.
Along with being the new carer of a child, employees have to meet a range of criteria to be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay. The amount of time spent caring for a child is not strict, but the employee must be caring for the child every day during the Dad and Partner Pay period. Employees must also meet residence requirements, pass a specific work test, and receive an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year closest to the date of the claim.
An employee cannot work at all during the Dad and Partner Pay Period.
All requests for Dad and Partner Pay can be made online through the myGov portal.
Employees can submit an online form for Dad and Partner Pay as early as three months before the date they expect the child to be born or adopted. It is recommended to submit a claim early to ensure the payment is confirmed before the child arrives.
Applicants will need to provide a range of information including tax file number, Customer Reference Number (CRN), work test information and more.
An employee will also have to lodge a request to take unpaid leave with their employer to coincide with the period in which they intend to receive the Dad and Partner Pay.
For advice on managing Dad and Partner Pay in the workplace and, in particular, how it relates to various workplace entitlements, please fill out the online form to request a free consultation.