Pay relief for locked down parents-to-be

Georgie Moore
(Australian Associated Press)


Soon-to-be parents who have lost work because of lockdowns won’t miss out on paid parental leave under proposed federal government changes.

Coronavirus disaster payments will count towards thresholds for parental and partner leave pay under a bill being introduced into parliament on Wednesday.

Currently, a parent must show they’ve worked for the equivalent of at least one day a week for 10 out of 13 months before having a child.

Parents cannot have more than a 12 week gap between each work day in that period.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston doesn’t want lockdowns to affect paid parental support that expectant mums and dads rely on.

“This will come as welcome relief for families living in extended lockdown conditions in NSW who are awaiting the arrival of a newborn,” she said.

The change would be applied across other parts of the country and to anyone receiving disaster payments in the future.

Primary carers can receive paid parental leave for up to 18 weeks.

The weekly $772.55 payments can be transferred to another parent should they become the primary carer.

The final six weeks can also be shared or taken by either parent at any time before a child turns two.

Two weeks’ pay is also available for dads or partners.

Weekly coronavirus disaster payments of up to $750 a week are available for people in nationally recognised hotspot areas who have lost more than 20 hours of work.

People who have lost between eight and 19 hours of work are eligible for $450 a week.


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