How to manage your Parental Leave Pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)

7 December 2020

There are changes that could affect your payment.

In most cases, your employer pays your Parental Leave Pay. If they can’t pay you because of COVID-19, we can pay you.

You can tell us about this change online. Sign in to your Centrelink online account through myGov, then select Parental Leave Pay Circumstances.

If we haven't assessed your claim yet, call the Families line.

The work test

To be eligible for Parental Leave Pay you need to meet the work test.

If you had to stop working due to the risk of COVID-19, you may still meet the work test. Depending on your individual work circumstances, we may move your work test period under the Dangerous Job provision. You must provide proof from your employer and a medical professional. This proof must confirm you stopped work because of the risk to your pregnancy.

Or, if COVID-19 affected your work, you may be able to use an extended work test when you claim. You can access the extended work test when both of the following apply:

  • you don’t meet the standard work test because your employment hours reduced, or you stopped work, due to COVID-19
  • your child’s birth or adoption is between 22 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Periods of JobKeeper Payment also count as work.

Returning to work

To get Parental Leave Pay you must be on leave or not working. This is from your child’s birth or adoption until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period.

In some cases you may still get Parental Leave Pay even if you return to work or are working. This is only for allowable reasons. One reason is if you’re a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker, responding to a state, territory or national emergency.

You’re an essential worker if you either:

  • have specific skills essential in responding to an emergency
  • are involved in the production of goods or the delivery of services essential in responding to an emergency.

If you’re planning to work for this reason, you’ll need to tell us online.

You can’t get JobKeeper payment at the same time as Parental Leave Pay.

You can get Parental Leave Pay after your JobKeeper payment ends, if you didn’t work during that time. If you returned to work, you can’t get Parental Leave Pay when your JobKeeper payment ends.

Next steps

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Page last updated: 7 December 2020