Changes if you get family payments

There are some changes that may affect you if you get family payments.

Special circumstance exceptions to the work test

You may now meet the work test for Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay. This is if your ability to work during the work test period was affected by any of the following:

  • family and domestic violence
  • a serious medical condition, for either yourself or an immediate family member you care for
  • a natural disaster declared by the Commonwealth or a state or territory.

If any of these apply to you, please contact our families line to discuss your circumstances.

Higher Child Care Subsidy and removal of the annual cap

The Australian Government has announced changes to Child Care Subsidy (CCS) starting from December 2021.

From 10 December 2021, the annual cap will be removed for all families who get CCS. It will be backdated to the start of the 2021-22 financial year. If you have already reached the cap, we’ll automatically pay you any money owed, we will do this in December 2021.

From 7 March 2022, we’ll increase CCS for families with more than one child in child care aged 5 or younger.

You don’t need to do anything. We’ll apply these changes automatically.

Read more about these changes on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

COVID-19 payments and the work test

To get Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay you need to meet a work test.

If coronavirus (COVID-19) affected your work, you may have gotten JobKeeper Payment or the COVID-19 Disaster Payment. These payments both count as work for the work test.

To include periods of COVID-19 Disaster Payment in the work test, 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.

It doesn’t matter what rate of COVID-19 Disaster Payment you got or the number of working hours you lost.

You can include periods you were getting COVID-19 Disaster Payments going back to 3 June 2021.

You’ll still need to meet the other work test requirements. These include all the following:

  • worked at least 10 months in your work test period
  • worked at least 330 hours in that 10 month period
  • had no more than a 12 week break between any work day in that 10 month period.

If you included COVID-19 Disaster Payment in your hours, you can choose a payment start date in the past. However, if you nominate a start date in the past, we may have paid you too much. This can happen if, in the same period, you or your partner got either:

  • Family Tax Benefit
  • an income support payment, such as Parenting Payment.

You can’t get COVID-19 Disaster Payment for the same period you get Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay.

Extended work test

To get Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay you need to meet a work test.

If coronavirus (COVID-19) affected your work, you may be able to use an extended work test. You can do this when you claim online.

You can access the extended work test when both 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 was between 22 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

If you’re eligible, we’ll extend your work test period from 13 months to 20 months. For Parental Leave Pay, you’ll use the 20 months before the birth or adoption of your child. For Dad and Partner Pay, you’ll use the 20 months before the start of your Dad and Partner Pay period.

By extending your work test period, you’ll be able to use work you did before COVID-19 affected your employment.

You’ll still need to meet the other work test requirements within the extended 20 month period. These include all the following:

  • worked at least 10 months in your work test period
  • worked at least 330 hours in that 10 month period
  • had no more than a 12 week break between any work day in that 10 month period.

If you’re eligible, you can nominate a start date for your payment that’s in the past. It can be as early as your child’s date of birth or adoption.

However, if you nominate a start date in the past, we may have paid you too much. This can happen if, in the same period, you or your partner got either:

If this happens you may owe us money which you’ll have to pay back.

If you or your partner get Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Subsidy you should update your family income estimate. It must include Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay.

Read more about the work test for Parental Leave Pay and the work test for Dad and Partner Pay.

Flexible Paid Parental Leave days

Parental Leave Pay changed to give families more choice about how they can balance work and family commitments.

From 1 July 2020, Parental Leave Pay includes both:

Income Test

The Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay income limit will increase from $150,000 to $151,350 from 1 July 2021.

Read more about the income test for Parental Leave Pay and the income test for Dad and Partner Pay.

Page last updated: 28 October 2021