From 1 January 2011 the new Federal Government scheme took effect. It allows an eligible working parent who is the primary carer of a child born or adopted from 1 January 2011 to take up to 18 weeks parental leave paid at the National Minimum Wage ($15.00 per hour or $570.00 per week for a full-time adult employee).  The leave must be taken as a single block and cannot begin before the expected date of birth or adoption. Employers are not required to register or to make payments under this scheme until 1 July 2011. Employers who wish to do so can opt in and start paying it before that date. After 1 July all employers must participate.

The scheme applies to:

  • Employers who have an ABN

Employees who:

  • have a child born or adopted on or after 1 July 2011;
  • have been employed by the employer for more than 12 months prior to the date of birth or adoption;
  • will continue to be so employed while receiving the government parental leave payment (i.e. also on some other form of paid
    or unpaid leave during the absence);
  • are based in Australia;
  • are taking at least 8 weeks Paid Parental Leave under the scheme.

Note: Employees:

  • of a child born or adopted before between 1 January and 1 July 2011; or
  • who have less than 12 months service; or
  • who are taking less than 8 weeks paid leave under the government scheme

are entitled to the payment but will be paid directly by the Federal Government’s Family Assistance Office unless both the
employer and employee agree that the payment will be made through the employer.