Maternity leave- How much am I entitled to?

The Fair Work Act outlines that a primary carer of a newborn child may be eligible for Paid Parental / Maternity Leave if they- are an Australian resident, - meet the scheme’s “work test” before the newborns birth, - have received an income of less than $150,000 in the previous financial year, and - are on leave or not working from the time they become primary carer. The primary carer is the person who meets the child’s physical needs.

Parental Leave Pay is a taxable payment that can be paid by your employer or by the Government directly. Parental Leave Pay is currently $641.05 per week before tax for a maximum of 18 weeks. This is the hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage x 7.6 (hours in a standard working day) x 5 (days in a standard working week).

Employers can provide for paid parental leave in registered agreements, employment contracts and workplace policies. The amount of leave and pay entitlements depends on the relevant registered agreement, contract or policy with the employer.

Employer-funded paid parental leave schemes do not affect an employee's eligibility for the Australian Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme. An employee can currently access both entitlements, but there is a proposal to change that.

For more information, we recommend you look at your workplace policies & procedures, and check out the information on the Human Services website here.

Ask GracePrue Gilbert