Paid Parental Leave can now be split

Written by: Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Act 2020

As of 1 July 2020, changes to paid parental leave will commence. Eligible persons will be provided with “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. 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, under the Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Act 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), including in a six-week block immediately after the initial 12-week period. 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 is now required

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

  • the changes affect the eligible persons
  • Claims are made for Parental Leave Pay before 14 September.

Information sent is regarding how to manage flexible paid parental leave days.
From 14 September, Services Australia ask both of the following if persons are claiming parental leave pay:

  • how to get flexible paid parental leave days
  • when to get flexible paid parental leave days.

If the child’s birth or adoption is before 1 July 2020, this change doesn’t have any impact.


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