Paid parental leave in Australia boosts baby boom
Thanks to the government’s recent introduction of a long overdue paid parental leave scheme, Australia is currently enjoying a mini baby boom.
If you’re moving to Australia and plan to start or add to your family, the good news is that you may be entitled to Paid Parental Leave. Here’s how it works.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures reveal a record 300,000 babies were born during the last year. This dramatic increase in birth rates eclipses even the peak of the original 1961 baby boom in which 250,000 births were recorded.
What is it?
- The Paid Parental Leave scheme is a new entitlement for working parents of children born or adopted from 1 January 2011.
- Eligible working parents can get 18 weeks of government funded Parental Leave Pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage (currently $589.40 a week before tax).
- Fathers are also eligible for Paid Parental Leave.
- For more information, click http://www.familyassist.gov.au/payments/family-assistance-payments/paid-parental-leave-scheme/
Paid Parental Leave Eligibility
- You must be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency.
- You must have worked continuously for your employer for 12 months in full-time, part-time or in some cases casual employment.
- Leave can commence within six weeks of expected birth date.
- You can take a maximum of 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave and your employer is required to hold your job for you, to another position similar in status and pay.
- You must advise your employer in writing as soon as practical when you expect to take leave, and no later than four weeks before the commencement of leave.
- You must provide a medical certificate confirming your pregnancy no later than 10 weeks before the due date.
- You must provide a statutory declaration stating you will be the primary care giver and that you will not do anything inconsistent with your employment contract while on leave.
- You must give four weeks written notice of your intended return to work date.
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