Returning to work

To get Parental Leave Pay, you must be on leave or not working.

Your Paid Parental Leave period must be before you return to work for the first time after your child’s birth or adoption.

How we decide if you’ve returned to work

We consider you've returned to work if you either:

You can’t get income from JobKeeper Payment at the same time as Parental Leave Pay. You can get Parental Leave Pay after your income from JobKeeper Payment ends, if you didn’t work during that time. If you did work, we’ll consider you have returned to work.

What happens if you return to work before the end of your Paid Parental Leave period

Your Paid Parental Leave period usually starts from the date you nominate.

If you return to work before the end of this period, it will end early. We can’t pay you any days remaining in your Paid Parental Leave period after you return to work. However, you may still get up to 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days. This is if your child’s birth or adoption is on or after 1 July 2020.

You can transfer the unused part of your Paid Parental Leave period to another person. But, you must do this before you return to work. The person you’re transferring to must also meet eligibility criteria. They must submit their claim within 52 weeks from the date of birth or adoption.

Read more about transferring Parental Leave Pay.

If you want to access Flexible Paid Parental Leave days

If your child’s birth or adoption is on or after 1 July 2020, you can get up to 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days. You can get these:

  • before or after you return to work for the first time
  • on days that you’re on leave or not working.

We consider you’ve worked on a day if you have worked for at least one hour. You may also be able to access up to 10 keeping in touch days under the keeping in touch rules.

Read more about Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

What exceptions there are

In some cases you may still get Parental Leave Pay even if you return to work or are working. This is only for certain reasons, including:

  • in the case of stillbirth or infant death
  • if your child needs to remain in hospital straight after birth and you go back to work 14 days or more after their birth
  • if you need to work to comply with a court ordered summons
  • if you are a defence force or law enforcement officer working due to a compulsory recall to duty
  • 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 return to work for one of these reasons, call the Families line.

How to tell us you’re working

You must tell us if you:

  • return to work before the end of your Paid Parental Leave period
  • are working or planning to work on a day you planned to access Flexible Paid Parental Leave.

You can do this with your Centrelink online account through myGov. Select Paid Parental Leave Circumstances once you sign in.

Page last updated: 14 October 2020