The Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Act 2020 (PPL Amendment Act) amends the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010.

The amendments are designed to provide greater flexibility to employees eligible for paid parental leave under the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme by allowing a portion of the parental leave payments to be taken as flexible parental leave payments.

The 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.

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 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.

Presently, employees wishing to take flexible paid parental leave must seek agreement from their employer to be absent from work for days they wish to nominate to receive flexible parental leave payments.

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

Alternatively, if you would like advice about how your own schemes and parental leave policies operate in conjunction with the PPL Amendment Act, please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Melbourne or Brisbane or contact Ai Group Workplace Lawyers here.

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