Recent changes to employee leave entitlements make it timely for
business to revisit their leave policies to ensure they are
The Federal Parliament recently passed amendments to the
Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Cth), that mean fathers and
same-sex partners can now claim two weeks of paid paternity leave.
The new payment from the Federal Government will start from 1
The Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad
and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012 (Bill) extends
the Federal Government's paid parental leave scheme by
introducing a new payment, called 'dad and partner pay',
for eligible working fathers and partners. The pay will be
available to eligible fathers and partners who are caring for a
child born or adopted from 1 January 2013. Those eligible will be
able to receive two weeks of pay at the rate of the national
minimum wage - currently $606 per week.
The pay will be available during the first 12 months after the
birth or adoption of the child. Eligible fathers and partners must
be caring for the child (either through primary care or joint care)
and must not be on paid leave or at work during the period that
they receive dad and partner pay. To be eligible the father or
partner must satisfy the certain rules including a work test
(calculated in accordance with the Bill), an income test
(adjustable taxable income of less than $150,000) and an Australian
The Bill also changes the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) by
introducing a 'keeping in touch day' that enables mothers
on unpaid parental leave to perform paid work for short periods in
order to assist with the employee's return to work. These
'keeping in touch days' are capped at 10 days and require
the consent of both the employee and employer. The days must not be
within 14 days of the date of birth or placement of the child. They
also must not extend the period of the employee's unpaid
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.Madgwicks is a member
of Meritas, one of the world's largest law firm
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Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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