Who can get it

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

To get Parental Leave Pay, you must be either:

  • the birth mother of a newborn child
  • the adoptive parent of a child
  • another person caring for a child under exceptional circumstances.

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.

You also need to:

Working and Parental Leave Pay

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

  • from your child’s birth or adoption until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period
  • when you use Flexible Parental Leave Pay days, this is for children born or adopted after 1 July 2020.

You can return to work before the end of your Paid Parental Leave period for certain reasons or for Keeping in Touch days. 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 it after you’ve returned to work.

If you get income from JobKeeper Payment, you can get Parental Leave Pay after it ends. This is as long as you didn’t work since your child’s birth or adoption. If you returned to work, you can’t get Parental Leave Pay when your income from JobKeeper Payment ends.

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.

You may be eligible for Flexible Paid Parental Leave days if your child’s birth or adoption is on or after 1 July 2020.

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

You may also be able to get Parental Leave Pay if you’re:

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

In the case of stillbirth or the death of a child you may get either:

Who can’t get it

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 is only temporarily in your care.

You also can’t get it if both of these apply:

  • you return to work except for certain reasons
  • your child’s date of birth or adoption is before 1 July 2020.

This is unless you transfer the entire Paid Parental Leave period to another person.

You can’t get income from JobKeeper Payment at the same time as Parental Leave Pay.

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

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.

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: 13 October 2020