Standing up for Canberra

Paid Parental Leave for new parents

Today is another important milestone in Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme, Senator for the ACT Kate Lundy, Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann and Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh said.

Local businesses are now required to provide Government-funded Paid Parental Leave to their eligible employees who have babies born on or after today [1 July]. 

“The new employer role will help new parents in the ACT stay connected with the workplace when they take time off to care for a baby,” Ms Brodtmann said.

Since Paid Parental Leave began on 1 January this year 1352 families in the ACT have claimed the payment, including casual workers, part-time workers, the self employed and contractors. 586 are currently receiving parental leave pay and 134 have finished receiving the payment.

“Under the Gillard Government’s scheme eligible parents receive up to 18 weeks Paid Parental Leave at the rate of the National Minimum Wage, currently around $590 per week,” Senator Lundy said.

“Paid Parental Leave gives local parents the financial security to take time off work to spend with their newborn babies. It also helps employers retain skilled staff that they have invested time and money in training,” Dr Leigh said. 

The Government has made it easy for businesses - they get the money upfront from the Government, and pay their employees through their usual pay cycle. There is no need for special bank accounts or special reports.
Local employers only need to provide Government-funded Paid Parental Leave to employees who have been with them for at least 12 months.

Employers can get more information by calling 13 11 58 or downloading the employer toolkit fromwww.centrelink.gov.au.

Parents can find out more by visiting the Family Assistance Office at www.familyassist.gov.au or calling 13 61 50.