Activities that count as work

To get Parental Leave Pay for a child born or adopted from 1 July 2023, you need to know what’s included in the work test.

What counts as work

Work is either:

  • paid work on a day when you have worked for at least one hour
  • paid leave, such as sick leave, annual leave and paid maternity leave.

We won’t count unpaid leave, including unpaid maternity leave.

Apart from full time work, you could also do any of the following:

  • be a part time, casual or seasonal worker
  • be a contractor or self-employed
  • have multiple employers
  • have recently changed jobs or left a job
  • have worked overseas
  • work in a family business.

If you work for a family business, you can include your work hours even if the business doesn’t make an income. You must be working for financial gain or benefit, even if you’re not getting paid.

All of the following also count as work:

  • previous periods of Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay - each day you’re paid counts as 7.6 hours
  • jury service
  • Defence Reservist work
  • periods of workers or accident compensation related to your employment
  • periods of JobKeeper Payment paid through your employer
  • periods where you got COVID-19 Disaster Payment paid by us
  • Supported Employment at an Australian Disability Enterprise
  • operating a business under Self-Employment Assistance.

Read more about:

JobKeeper Payment and COVID-19 Disaster Payment

For periods of JobKeeper Payment and COVID-19 Disaster Payment, you count whichever of the following is greater:

  • 7.6 hours for each weekday in the period, not including weekends
  • the number of hours actually worked each day, including weekends
  • the number of hours of paid leave each day.

When you claim online you will need to add up your hours of work and any other activities that count as work. This will help us figure out if you meet the work test requirements. Make sure you include any periods of time that you got COVID-19 Disaster Payment when you do this.

Page last updated: 19 January 2024.
QC 64486