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Paid Parental Leave Scheme (PPL)

Recently the government announced a Paid Parental Leave scheme which will come into effect in  January 2011.  Under this scheme an eligible person will receive up to 18 weeks taxable pay at the minimum wage, which is currently $569.90 per week.  These payments will be made by the government and in most cases paid via the normal payroll process after the arrival of the baby.

To be eligible, the primary carer must satisfy the following criteria:

·         Have been engaged in work continuously for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the expected birth or adoption of the child;

·         Have worked for an average of one day per week within the 10 month period;

·         Have a taxable income of less than $150,000 in the previous financial year;

This scheme will benefit those who work full time, part time, casually, contract or who are self-employed. 

Eligible families will also be able to chose whether to participate in this scheme.  Those who elect to do so will not be eligible to receive the Baby Bonus or Family Tax benefit part B during the 18 week period.  Those who are ineligible are still able to apply for other benefits such as the Baby Bonus.

It is hoped that the introduction of such a scheme will have a number of benefits, namely:

  • Increasing the average length of leave taken by employed women after childbirth by around ten weeks.  It is hoped that this increase will allow greater child development outcomes;  enhance support for breastfeeding and allow more time for mothers to recover from childbirth;
  • Encouraging increased workforce participation for women prior to having children and between pregnancies;
  • Changing community attitudes towards one of accepting that it is normal to take leave from work around the time of birth or adoption and that this is part of the normal course of family life.

For more details please see

www.familyassist.gov.au

or call 13 6150 (Family Assistance Office) during office hours.