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Mythbusting Paid Parental Leave

November 9, 2020

Last week, we talked about your rights when it comes to unpaid parental leave. But most Australian workers are also eligible for paid parental leave, which is 18 weeks of the national minimum wage. In order to claim paid parental leave, you need to:

  • be the primary carer of a newborn or newly-adopted child
  • have individually earned less than $150,000 in the last financial year
  • not be working during your Paid Parental Leave period, except for certain reasons
  • have met the work test in the 13 months before the child’s birth or entry into care (working at least 1 day a week for 10 months).

Once you claim paid parental leave, Services Australia (or Centrelink) will pay your employer, who will pass that payment on to you. For a full run-down on how to claim paid parental leave, check out their website.

There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion around paid parental leave and your employer’s role in the scheme, so let’s bust some of the most common myths we see at HSA!

Your payment depends on your normal working hours

Every parental leave payment is the same – $753.90 per week before tax. This includes casual workers, and apprentices. Even if you only worked 1 day a week, you’re still entitled to the full amount.

If you’re paid fortnightly, and take Paid Parental Leave halfway through your pay cycle, then you will receive payment for the days you’re eligible.

Employers fund Parental Leave Pay

The Australian Government funds parental leave through your employer. Your employer must pass on the full payment from the Government into your account each pay cycle.

The Government will pay your employer in advance, so your employer shouldn’t be left out of pocket when it comes to your paid parental leave.

Small businesses or those with a small number of staff aren’t eligible

Paid Parental leave is available to ALL employers, no matter how small your salon is. Even if you’re the only employee, your employer has to pay you!

Only full-time employers are eligible

All workers, including part-time, casual, contract, and sole traders are eligible for paid parental leave, provided they meet the work test.

You can’t be paid parental leave at the same time as annual leave

You can claim accrued annual leave while being paid your parental leave, if you choose to. Paid parental leave doesn’t affect any of your existing leave entitlements.

You receive superannuation payments during Paid Parental Leave

There’s no legal requirement to pay superannuation on top of your Paid Parental Leave. Your employer may make a voluntary contribution, but this isn’t compulsory.

Paid parental leave can be super complicated, but at HSA, we’re here to help! Our legal and industrial experts can guide you through the claims process, and if there are any issues with your employer, we can help make things right. Join today and get one-on-one access to the support and advice you need to claim your workplace rights.

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