Today the Australian Government announced applications are now open for Dad and Partner Pay.
Never heard of it? Well, it’s an extension of the Paid Parental Leave scheme and means government support for dads and partners to get two weeks paid leave at the rate of the national minimum wage (currently about $606 per week before tax), if you have a baby or adopt after 1 January, 2013.
You could be eligible if you work full-time, part-time, casually, seasonally, on contract, or if you’re self-employed.
Here’s the fine print. You may be eligible if:
- You are the biological dad, adopting parent or partner of the birth mother or adopting parent and;
- You are an Australian resident who has worked for at least 10 of the 13 months before the date your Dad and Partner Pay period starts, and;
- Your individual adjusted taxable income is $150 000 or less in the financial year either before the date of your claim.
Dads can be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay even if their partner is not receiving Paid Parental Leave and you can read all of the details here.
The Australian Government hopes this will support families in the first year of a chld’s life, and encourage more dads to take time off to spend with their kids. Excellent stuff.
They say that the move is a particularly big win for self-employed people, contractors, casual workers and others who generally don’t have paternity leave entitlements from their employer.
You’re still likely to be better off with your employer’s parental leave scheme, if you’re lucky enough to be work for someone that has one. But for everyone else, this is a good start.
I wonder how many dads will take it? I suspect lots of dads would prefer to spend more time with their kids when they’re first born, but feel lots of pressure to continue providing for the family, especially when mum is recovering from childbirth. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier.
If you’re already registered with the Department of Human Services for online services, you can logon and apply from there, or you can register here. You can apply in person at Centrelink or Medicare offices or call 136 150.