Australia's Parental Leave Policy and Domestic Partner Leave

You may be eligible to receive minimum entitlements to unpaid leave from your employer if you are a new parent's partner. In addition, you may be eligible to receive payments funded by the government. If you are the child's primary caregiver or the birth mother and you are employed most of the time, please make sure to read our section on parental leave as well.

You are eligible for unpaid leave if you have been working for the company for at least a year (excluding any absences that were not pre-approved) and if you are responsible for the care of a child in the household. To qualify for the leave, you do not need to be the primary caregiver for the child. Some employers have enterprise agreements, workplace policies, or employment contracts that provide more generous entitlements, including entitlements to paid leave. Other employers may provide these entitlements directly to their employees.

Acquaint Yourself With Your Legal Obligations Regarding Maternity and Partner Leave

Working dads who meet the requirements, along with their partners (including same-sex partners), are entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. When you and your working partner both take unpaid parental leave at the same time, you are only allowed to take 8 weeks of that leave. Unless it is taken as flexible unpaid parental leave, the remaining portion of your unpaid leave must begin after your partner returns to work and be taken all at once during a single uninterrupted period of time.

The first two years of a parent's employment entitle them to 30 days of unpaid leave that is flexible. You have the option of completing these days in one long stretch or breaking them up into several shorter chunks of time. It is possible to take it at the same time as your partner, provided that the combined total of all unpaid parental leaves taken at the same time does not exceed eight weeks. If you intend to take some form of unpaid parental leave, such as flexible parental leave, it will be deducted from the 12 months of unpaid parental leave to which you are entitled.  

Employers in Australia with Regards to Paternity and Partner Leave

Simply having a conversation with your employer in advance and submitting a request in writing is all that is required to set up unpaid paternity leave.

Make sure to do this at least ten weeks before the expected date of birth or adoption of your child, and submit a written request.

You are required to indicate in the request whether or not you intend to make a claim for Partner Pay, as well as the dates that you would like to schedule the claim for. Following that, your employer will be required to approve of your request and record it as part of the application for parental leave pay.

Partner Pay

Partners of people who are expecting children or who have adopted children are eligible to receive up to two weeks of paid leave from the federal government. There is a common misconception that only fathers are eligible for this benefit, despite the fact that anyone can receive it.

In the same vein as the Paid Parental Leave Scheme, Partner Pay is paid out at the minimum wage, which is currently 2 per week. 60 per week) for up to 2 weeks

To qualify for partner pay you must:

  • Each and every day of the Partner Pay period, you must be responsible for the care of a newborn or a child who has recently been adopted.
  • Have a total income from the previous fiscal year that was less than $151,350
  • During the duration of your Partner Pay period, you should not be working or taking paid leave.
  • Have the ability to demonstrate that you can pass a series of tests pertaining to your income, employment, and place of residence.

Visit the Services Australia website to determine whether or not you qualify for the program.

How do I apply for and receive paid maternity, paternity, and partner leave?

After coming to an agreement with your employer regarding your paternity leave and negotiating the terms of that leave, you will be able to submit your own application for Partner Pay via the internet.

The most efficient way to do this is to file your claim through the myGov website on the internet. After successfully logging into your account, you will be able to send in the form necessary to make a claim for paid parental leave.  

Partner Pay is a type of leave that is available to you through the Paid Parental Leave scheme. However, unlike the other types of leave, it is paid to you directly by Services Australia and not by your employer.

Questions That Are Typically Asked

Is it possible for me to take maternity leave or partner leave?

If you want to be eligible for paternity leave or partner leave from your current employer, you need to have worked for that employer for at least a year. After that, you are eligible for a year's worth of unpaid leave. This period of unpaid leave is available to full-time workers in addition to regular casuals who work less than 30 hours per week. In addition to this, there is a possibility that you could receive Partner Pay for two weeks and/or more generous benefits in accordance with an enterprise agreement, workplace policy, or employment contract.  

How long of a paternity leave do fathers in Australia have the right to take?

In Australia, eligible fathers can take up to two weeks of paid paternity leave from the government. Your employer is responsible for making arrangements for this time period, and the federal government will pay you in full directly.

During the time that you are on paternity leave, you will be compensated at the rate of the national minimum wage. In addition, employees who have worked for the same company for more than a year are eligible for a year's worth of unpaid parental leave from their employer.

Should fathers be allowed time off from work for paternity leave?

There is a paternity leave program available to working men in Australia. The idea behind paternity leave is to give new fathers the opportunity to bond with their children, provide emotional support to their partners, and attend to their own needs as new parents. Policies regarding parental leave are established with the goal of safeguarding employees in the event that they give birth to or adopt a child during the course of their employment.

Making sure there is paid parental leave available ensures that children will have someone to look after them, that parents will have time to relax, and that there will be a healthy balance between work and family life.

Which types of paternity leave are available to fathers?

In Australia, fathers and partners who meet certain criteria are eligible to receive two weeks of government-funded pay. After the birth or adoption of a child, fathers are eligible for Dad and Partner Pay from their employers. This includes parents of the same sexual orientation.

Employers are not responsible for the processing of the payment, as this is handled by the government; however, they are required to keep records and must agree to the dates on which paternity leave will be taken.

How does the father's leave system work in Australia?

Your application for paternity leave can be submitted electronically through the myGov portal. Log in to your account, go to the tab labeled "payments," and then fill out an application for Family Assistance (which includes Paid Parental Leave).

Do I qualify for maternity or paternity leave?

In order to qualify for paternity leave, you will need to be the primary caregiver for a child who was either born to you or adopted by you. Each parent in the household is eligible for unpaid parental leave regardless of the number of children they have.

If you have worked for the same company for a year or more, you are eligible to apply for paid paternity leave for a total of two weeks and unpaid paternity leave for a total of 12 months with your current employer.

Is it possible to receive Partner Pay even if you are not married?

The nature of your relationship can have an impact on whether or not you are eligible for paternity benefits. You can make use of it if you are:

  • a person who is genetically related to the child
  • the man who was with the woman when she gave birth
  • an adoptive mother or father
  • an adoptive parent's spouse or partner
  • a person who is responsible for the upbringing of a child who was born through the process of surrogacy

When certain conditions are met, it may also be payable to a partner of the child's biological father or the partner of a new caretaker in the event that the child's care arrangements (other than a foster care or permanent care arrangement) have been altered.

People are generally considered to be in a relationship if they are expecting a child together with their partner. You and your partner can be considered a couple if you are married, if you are in a registered relationship, or if you are living together as a de facto couple.

In certain situations, such as if you are required to live in separate locations due to the demands of your jobs, you and your partner might still be considered a couple even though you do not share a residence.

When can I submit my application for partner leave or paternity leave?

You are required to give your employer notice of your intent to take unpaid paternity leave or partner leave in the appropriate time frame in order to make a request for the leave.

You should submit your application no later than ten weeks before the beginning of your paternity leave. This notification is required to be made in writing. You will be required to specify how much time off you intend to take and include both the beginning and ending dates of your vacation in this document. It is also important that you specify any time frame during which you will be requesting Partner Pay.

If I am self-employed, am I eligible for Partner Pay?

If you are engaged in self-employment, you do, in fact, retain the right to receive payments.

The application procedure that you need to go through is the same for both employees and applicants. Simply answer all of the questions that are listed on the myGov website after logging in.

You will be entitled to the same benefits as permanent full-time employees, including minimum wage compensation for two weeks of partner pay.

Is it legal for an employer to refuse maternity leave, paternity leave, or partner leave?

After you have handed in your application, your employer is obligated to grant you the requested amount of time off, unless you are either not qualified for the benefit or have not provided them with adequate notice. In the event that your application is denied by your employer, you may have the opportunity to appeal the decision to either the Fair Work Commission or a court of law. You should talk to your union about the options for legal recourse that are open to you given the specifics of your situation.  

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