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There is new legislation extending the Federal Government's national Paid Parental Leave (NPPL) scheme to include a new payment called "Dad and Partner Pay" (D&PP). D&PP will be available to an eligible father or partner, who is caring for a child born or adopted after 1 January 2013.

The existing NPPL scheme provides up to 18 weeks' pay to the primary care giver (usually, the mother). Under the D&PP provisions, eligible fathers and partners will be able to receive 2 weeks' pay at the prevailing national minimum wage, currently at $606.40 before tax.

An eligible partner can be the same sex as the person receiving NPPL payments for the child, but, the same person cannot receive both the NPPL entitlement and the new D&PP entitlement at the same time, and D&PP cannot be added to the primary care giver's NPPL entitlement.

In special circumstances an eligible partner could be able to have any remaining NPPL transferred from the primary carer were they to become the child's primary carer.

Unlike NPPL, payment of D&PP does not involve the partner's employer. A claimant for D&PP must lodge an application with the Department of Human Services (from 1 October 2012).

Payments will not commence until 1 January 2013. D&PP is only available during the 12 months following the child's birth or adoption. If the eligible dad or partner does not utilise the payment within the first 12 months of the birth or adoption, they will lose the opportunity.

Payments will be made directly to the dad or partner by the Department.

Eligibility for Dad and Partner Payments

A dad or partner must meet certain eligibility requirements to receive D&PP. D&PP is available to the child's biological father, the partner of the child's birth mother (including a same sex partner) or an adoptive parent of the child.

An applicant must be an Australian resident and show they have worked continuously for at least 10 of the last 13 months (totalling at least 330 hours) before the child's birth or adoption and have earned no more than $150,000 in the previous financial year.

To qualify as an Australian resident, you must be living in Australia as:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • the holder of a permanent-resident visa; or
  • a New Zealand citizen who was in Australia on 26 February 2001 or for 12 months in the two years immediately before that date or who was assessed before 26 February 2004 as protected.

Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal or contract work and work on a self-employed basis all count towards the "work test".

Applicants will have to provide primary or joint care to the child and must not be on paid leave from work while receiving payments under the D&PP scheme.

D&PP is intended to add to any employer funded paid leave. D&PP does not require that the mother or primary carer has been in paid work or at home before the birth or adoption, or is receiving/can receive NPPL.

For further, more detailed assistance regarding dad and partner pay (D&PP) please contact Kelly Langdon on 3218 3900 or Kelly.langdon@availio.com.au
This article was published in the Spring 2012 Horizon. For a pdf version of the newsletter please click here.