More Flexibility in Paid Parental Leave

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Did you know there is now more flexibility in Paid Parental Leave?

As of 1 July 2020, changes have been made to paid parental leave as outlined in the Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Act 2020. The intention is to allow eligible persons “more flexibility” to use and extend parental leave pay (PLP).

Currently under the Paid Parental Leave Act, an eligible person is entitled to 18 weeks of paid parental leave, equivalent to 90 payable days. Eligible persons are paid in instalments by their employer or the Australian Government at the national minimum wage. Eligible persons may only take the PLP in one continuous block of up to 18 weeks, and it must be claimed within 12 months of the birth or adoption of their child.

From 1 July 2020, eligible persons will be entitled to an initial 12 weeks’ PLP period. The eligible persons are then entitled to a second “flexible” PLP period of up to 30 business days.

The initial continuous 12 weeks’ PLP can be taken within the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of the child. However, the flexible 30 business days can be claimed on any flexible PLP day within the 24-month period after the birth or adoption of a child (i.e. before the child's second birthday).

You can still get your Parental Leave Pay in a single continuous 18 week block by linking your 12 week Paid Parental Leave period to your 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days. Alternatively, you can choose a shorter block of between 12 and 18 weeks. You can then take your remaining Flexible Paid Parental Leave days at a later time, when it suits you. You must take the Flexible Paid Parental Leave days before your child turns 2.

The eligible person’s total period of 18 weeks’ PLP remains the same, and the rate of pay under the national minimum wage will remain unchanged.

What you need to do

For now there’s no change to what you need to do. The best time to claim is still before your child’s birth or adoption. From 14 September Services Australia use your child’s date of birth to work out if the changes will affect you. They will send you more information if both of the following apply:

  • the changes affect you

  • you claim Parental Leave Pay before 14 September.

This will tell you how you can manage your flexible paid parental leave days.

From 14 September, Services Australia ask both of the following if you claim parental leave pay:

  • how you want to get your flexible paid parental leave days

  • when you want to get your flexible paid parental leave days.

If your child’s birth or adoption is before 1 July 2020, this change doesn’t impact you.

We hope this helps. If you have any questions or if you think we can help, please contact the office on 02 4402 8913 or email

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