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Paid Parental Leave


A few people have hit me up recently about the government paid parental leave, so I thought I would give you a bit of info! A claim can be started with Centrelink up to 3 months before the expected date of birth, and there are two options to get a claim underway if you are an existing Centrelink client: 1. You can sign in using your myGov login and select your linked Centrelink account, or 2. You can use your Customer Reference Number (CRN) to register for a Centrelink online account here. Your CRN should be listed on any correspondence Centrelink has sent you previously. (If you don’t yet have a CRN, you would need to go to a Centrelink service centre with photo ID and tell them that you would like to register for a Centrelink online account). You can then commence a claim for Parental Leave Pay via one of these links. Centrelink will finalise the claim once they receive the documents they request from you, including proof of birth documents. Once the claim has been finalised, the funds will be transferred by Centrelink to your employer (if you have been with them for more than 12 months), and your employer will then make the payments as part of the regular payroll processing. If you have been with your employer for less than 12 months, Centrelink will pay the benefit directly to you. The current payment rate is $695/week before tax, for a maximum of 18 weeks. 1. You can claim for a continuous period of up to 18 weeks. The basic eligibility to claim is that you must be: • the birth mother of the newborn • the adopting parent of the child, or • another person caring for the child under exceptional circumstances 2. It is possible to transfer some or all of the 18 weeks paid leave between the parents (i.e. the mother could transfer the entire claim to the father). The conditions for this are: • when the first carer’s Paid Parental Leave period ends, the second carer’s Paid Parental Leave period begins immediately • there can’t be a gap between the 2 Paid Parental Leave periods, and • the second carer’s Paid Parental Leave period would end, at the latest, 18 weeks after the first carer’s Paid Parental Leave period began 3. With taking other leave entitlements, Centrelink says that: you can take Paid Parental Leave before, during or after any paid or unpaid maternity or parental leave, or other employer funded leave entitlements such as annual leave or long service leave (so there’s no issue with double dipping). 4. In relation to any work being done during the Paid Parental Leave period, Centrelink says that to be eligible, you have to be ‘on leave or not working from when you become the child's primary carer until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period’. If you change your mind and go back to work early, you can transfer any unused PPL to another eligible person. The work rules are: We’ll regard you as having returned to work if you: • participate in paid work, other than under the Keeping in Touch provisions, or • perform more than 10 Keeping in Touch days (check out provisions for Keeping In Touch here. There are a few other points for eligibility criteria too: 1. There is a work test as part of the eligibility criteria. To meet the work test for Parental Leave Pay you must have worked for at least: • 10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of your child, and • 330 hours in that 10 month period, which is just over 1 day a week, with no more than an 8 week gap between 2 consecutive working days 2. To be eligible, you must have received an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year either before the date of birth or adoption or the date you claim, whichever is earlier. As with anything Centrelink, there’s a lot more information available on each of these points that you can read up on here. Good luck to all those parents-to-be!

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