Who can get it

To get Parental Leave Pay, you need to meet certain criteria.

To get Parental Leave Pay, you need to be the primary carer of your newborn or adopted child, and one of the following:

  • the birth mother of a newborn child
  • the initial primary carer of an adopted child placed in your care by an authorised party for the purpose of adoption
  • another person caring for a child under exceptional circumstances.

You also need to meet all of the following:

If you have a newborn, you must have registered or applied to register their birth. You do this with your state or territory birth registry.

Working and Parental Leave Pay

You must be on leave or not working for both the following periods:

You can return to work before the end of your Paid Parental Leave period for either:

Your payment won’t stop in this situation.

You should claim Parental Leave Pay before you return to work. We may not be able to pay you the full amount if you claim after you’ve returned to work.

You can take Parental Leave Pay before, during or after any paid or unpaid employer funded leave. This includes all of the following:

  • maternity or parental leave
  • annual leave
  • long service leave.

What it means if you got JobKeeper Payment or the COVID-19 Disaster Payment

You can’t get income from JobKeeper Payment or the COVID-19 Disaster Payment at the same time as Parental Leave Pay. This includes Flexible Paid Parental Leave days. You can only get Parental Leave Pay after your income from JobKeeper Payment and the COVID-19 Disaster Payment has ended.

This is as long as you didn’t work during that time. If you did work, we’ll consider you have returned to work.

Newly arrived migrants

You may need to wait 2 years before you can get Parental Leave Pay. You may not need to wait if both of the following apply:

  • you’re already getting another payment from your child’s birth or adoption
  • you’re still getting it the day before you want to get Parental Leave Pay, including Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

Read more about exemptions to the newly arrived residents waiting period.

You may also be able to get Parental Leave Pay if any of the following apply:

  • you’re the partner of the birth mother or adoptive parent, and they transfer their payment and care of the child to you
  • you're unable to care for your child for a short time in your payment period
  • you're the birth mother, and you no longer have care of the child because of adoption or surrogacy.

If you had a baby who was stillborn you may get either:

It’s important you tell us about changes in your circumstances while getting Parental Leave Pay. If you don’t, your payment may stop or you may get a debt.

Not eligible

You can’t get Parental Leave Pay if any of the following apply:

  • you don’t meet the eligibility criteria
  • you’re a foster carer and the child was not placed in your care by an authorised party for the purpose of adoption.

You also can’t get it if you return to work, except for allowable reasons. This is unless you transfer the entire Paid Parental Leave period to another person.

If you’re not eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you may still get both:

Next: How much you can get

Parental Leave Pay is based on the weekly rate of the national minimum wage. You can get it for up to 18 weeks, which is 90 payable days.

Page last updated: 12 October 2021