Who can get it

To get Parental Leave Pay for a child born or adopted from 1 July 2023, you need to meet certain criteria.

To get Parental Leave Pay, you need to make a claim, be caring for your newborn or adopted child, and be one of the following:

  • the birth mother of the newborn child
  • the partner of the birth mother
  • the child’s biological father
  • the partner of the child’s biological father
  • the child’s adoptive parent
  • the partner of an adoptive parent
  • gaining parents in a surrogacy arrangement
  • the partner of a gaining parent in a surrogacy arrangement
  • a 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 with your state or territory birth registry.

If you have a multiple birth, for example, twins or triplets, you can only get Parental Leave Pay for one child. Read more about having multiple children.

If your baby was stillborn you may get either:

We have information to help you decide between Parental Leave Pay and Stillborn Baby Payment.

Your family can choose to share Parental Leave Pay. This will give your family more flexibility to manage your work and care arrangements. You’ll each need to make a separate claim. It’s important you talk about it and decide how many Parental Leave Pay days you will each claim. There are rules about how many Parental Leave Pay days can be shared, and how many days can be taken by parents at the same time.

If you’re giving your baby up for adoption or as part of a surrogacy arrangement, you can claim Parental Leave Pay. This is to give you time to recover from the birth. However, you can’t share your Parental Leave Pay.

Rules if you’re the birth mother

You can choose to share your payment. You need to approve the number of Parental Leave Pay days you’re sharing with the other parent, and they also need to lodge a claim for Parental Leave Pay.

If you’re not eligible, the other parent can still submit a claim. However, both you and the other parent must meet the work test if they’re any of the following:

  • your partner
  • the biological father
  • the biological father’s partner.

This means if you don’t meet the work test but they do, neither of you will be eligible.

Rules if you’re not the birth mother or first adoptive parent to claim

The birth mother or first adoptive parent needs to approve the number of Parental Leave Pay days they’re sharing with you. This doesn’t apply if you’re caring for a child under exceptional circumstances.

If the birth mother isn’t eligible, you can still submit a claim. However, both you and the birth mother must meet the work test if you’re any of the following:

  • the birth mother’s partner
  • the biological father
  • the biological father’s partner

This means if you meet the work test but they don’t, you won’t be eligible.

The first adoptive parent or gaining parent in a surrogacy arrangement can share the payment. If you’re their partner, and aren’t listed on the adoption or surrogacy papers, then both of you must meet the work test. This means if they don’t meet the work test, you won’t be eligible.

Read more about sharing your payment.

Rules if you’re working

You must be on leave or not working when you use a Parental Leave Pay day, unless you are working for an allowable reason. You can choose to return to work before you use all your Parental Leave Pay days. You can use them on any days you’re caring for the child and not working. This can include weekdays, weekends and holidays.

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

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

If you don’t know when you want to use your days we’ll hold them in a balance. You can use them later or share some or all of them with another eligible parent. They must be used within 2 years of your child’s birth or adoption.

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.

Rules if you’re a newly arrived migrant

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.

Read more about exemptions to the newly arrived resident’s waiting period.

You may also be able to get Parental Leave Pay if either:

  • 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 care for the child because of adoption or surrogacy.

Reasons why you can’t get it

You can’t get Parental Leave Pay if either:

  • 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.

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

Page last updated: 19 January 2024.
QC 64494