Paid Leave for Dads
If the Government holds on to power, Dads will qualify for two weeks paid parental leave from 1 January 2013.
Like the existing paid parental leave scheme, the ‘Dads and Partner Pay’ is paid at the minimum wage - currently $589.40. The payment applies to Dads and partners sharing the care of a new born (including adopting parents and same sex couples).
The payment is likely to be administered by the Family Assistance Office rather than through the employer.
The payment will be available in addition to any employer-funded paid leave but cannot be taken at the same time the employee is taking paid leave.
Employees are able to take three weeks unpaid parental leave at the same time as their partner after the birth of the child. It appears that while the payments to Dads can be taken at the same time as the existing paid parental leave payments for the primary carer – the total payments to the parents cannot exceed the existing 18 weeks.
Unlike the existing paid parental leave scheme, Dads will not be able to work while receiving the benefit and they cannot transfer any unused payment entitlement.
The scheme is means tested and the payments cut out once the individual earns $150,000.
Paid parental leave for Dads was initially scheduled for 1 July 2011 then postponed during the global financial crisis.
The full details are yet to be finalised and the Government is seeking consultation into the scheme. You can find the details at http://www.fahcsia.gov.au.