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Paid parental leave commenced 1 January 2011

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MST confirms that, effective 1 January 2011, a federal government funded paid parental leave scheme is in place which will provide up to 18 weeks’ payment, based on the federal minimum wage, to parents of children born or adopted after 1 January 2011.

To be eligible to receive the federal government funded parental leave, an employee must:

  • have worked for at least 330 hours, over a 10 month period, in the 13 months before the birth or adoption of the child. During this 13 month period, the employee can take a break of up to 8 weeks between each eligible work day
  • earn less than $150,000 per annum
  • be the primary carer of the child. This need not necessarily mean the mother; it could be a grandparent.
  • have not returned to work, however, employees are entitled to attend work for up to ten days while on paid parental leave

Until 1 July 2011, the Family Assistance Office will facilitate payments to employees, although employers can nominate to facilitate payments during this time.

From 1 July 2011, the Family Assistance Office will pay employers the benefit, which they must then pay to the employee as part of their regular payroll cycle.

The federal government funded parental leave scheme will be payable in addition to any employer funded paid parental leave scheme.

Our Workplace Relations team recommends that all employers should now ensure that:

  • existing policies and procedures are not incompatible with the new federal government funded parental leave scheme; and
  • payroll systems are updated to reflect payments which employers will need to process as and from 1 July 2011.

Note: The Paid Parental Leave scheme will be discussed in detail at the Workplace Relations seminar to be held at MST on 24 February 2011.

Author: Herbert Fischbacher

Send an email to Herb