Amendments have been made to the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 to introduce greater flexibility for eligible employees to claim parental leave payments under the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme. 

The amendments will impact how employers manage arrangements for employees returning from parental leave. 

The Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Act 2020 (PPL Amendment Act) enables different parental leave and return to work options for eligible employees. The Act allows up to 30 days (or 6 weeks) of the existing 18-week Government-funded parental leave pay to be claimed as flexible parental leave payments, within 24 months of the birth or adoption of a child. The remaining 12 weeks of parental leave pay is to be taken as continuous leave within 12 months of the child’s birth or adoption. 

In other words, eligible employees will be able to claim: 

  • up to 12 weeks (or 60 days) of parental leave payments in a continuous period within 12 months of the birth or adoption of the child; and 
  • up to 30 days of flexible parental leave payments to be taken within 24 months of the birth or adoption of the child. 

In many cases, employees are likely to choose to connect their 30-day flexible parental leave payments to their continuous parental leave pay such that a total period of 18 consecutive weeks is taken as parental leave pay. 

The Explanatory Memorandum to the PPL Amendment Act provides the following examples: 

For example, assume that when Jane, who works five days per week, has a child, she initially claims 12 weeksi.e., she claims for her PPL period. Jane returns to work and enters into an agreement to work three days per week. In that case, Jane would apply to be paid PPL on the two days per week that she is not working. 

Murray takes 30 days flexible PPL after his partner has taken 12 weeks PPL in a continuous period. Murray has the agreement with his employer to take 30 days leave by working 4 days per week for 30 weeks. 

The PPL Amendment Act applies to eligible employees of children born or adopted on or after 

1 July 2020. Eligible employees will be able to claim flexible parental leave payments from 14 

September 2020. 

If you would like more information about parental leave please contact Ai Group’s Workplace Advice Service on 1300 55 66 77. 

Alternatively, if you would like advice about responding to claims made will employees are on parental leave or returning to work, please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Melbourne or Brisbane or email Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at info@aigroupworkplacelawyers.com.au

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