More choice with Parental Leave Pay Scheme changes

From 1 July 2020 eligible employees can split their Parental Leave Pay (PLP) so they can take it over 2 periods within 2 years. The changes give employees more choice about how and when they take their Parental Leave Pay.

This change will affect employees with a child born or adopted on or after this date. As an employer, you’ll still need to provide Parental Leave Pay to eligible employees on behalf of the Australian Government.

So, what are the changes?

Your employees may still get up to 18 weeks, 90 payable days of PLP. However, from 1 July 2020, PLP will be available as:

  • a Paid Parental Leave period of up to 12 weeks which is 60 payable days
  • 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

Therefore, employees can claim PLP for 1 set period and 1 flexible period. Previously employees could only use Paid Parental Leave as one continuous 18-week period.

Employees can still get their PLP in a single continuous 18-week block. To do this, the 12 week Paid Parental Leave period will be connected to the 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

Alternatively, an employee can choose a shorter block of between 12 and 18 weeks. They can then take the remaining Flexible Paid Parental Leave days at a later time, when it suits them. The flexible period:

  • Is up to 30 days
  • Usually starts after the first period has ended
  • Can be used in flexible periods negotiated between the employee and employer
  • Has to be used within 24 months of a child’s birth or adoption.

Using flexible Parental Leave Pay

Employees who want to use flexible Parental Leave Pay when they return to work from parental leave need to come to an agreement with their employer about how it will work in their circumstances. Employees and employers can consider:

  • Reducing the hours or days of work
  • Changing the pattern of work
  • Taking additional unpaid leave.

An employee’s unpaid parental leave ends when they return to work, even if they are working less or different hours than they used to.

What do employee’s need to do?

Employees can now choose how and when they would like to get PLP and they’ll be able to do this from 14 September 2020.

From 14 September Services Australia will use the employee’s child’s date of birth to work out if the changes will affect them. Services Australia will send affected employees more information if both of the following apply:

  • the changes affect them
  • they claim Parental Leave Pay before 14 September.

This will advise employees how they can manage their Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

From 14 September, Service Australia will ask the following if employees claim Parental Leave Pay:

  • how they want to get their Flexible Paid Parental Leave days
  • when they want to get their Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

Payment of the Parental Leave Pay Scheme

There haven’t been any changes to how PLP is paid. In most cases, PLP payments are made to the employer who then pays the employee. If you need to provide Parental Leave Pay to an eligible employee, the Government will continue to provide the funds to you. Just like they do now. The Government will also tell you how long you need to pay the employee. You won’t need to make any special changes to the way you currently provide the funds.


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