Changes to the Parental Leave Pay Scheme



In June 2020 the Parliament passed laws to make the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme more flexible.

Since its introduction in 2011 by Prime Minster Julia Gillard, the Paid Parental Leave Scheme has provided 18 weeks’ pay to the primary carer. From 1 July 2020, the primary carer can access Parental Leave Pay (PLP) differently, if they choose to.

From 1 July 2020, eligible employees can split their PLP so they take it over 2 periods within 2 years.

Employees can claim PLP for 1 set period and 1 flexible period.

Previously, employees could only use PLP as one continuous 18 week period.

Parental Leave Pay

The first period is a set period of 12 weeks. This needs to be used within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child, and can’t be split into more than 1 period.

Flexible Parental Leave Pay

The flexible period:

  • is up to 30 days
  • usually starts after the first period has ended
  • can be used in flexible periods negotiated between the employee and employer
  • has to be used within 24 months of a child’s birth or adoption.

Who qualifies?

PLP is means tested. To qualify, the primary carer must have met the work test and have an individual adjusted taxable income of less than $150,000 from the financial year before either:

  • the birth or adoption
  • the date you lodge your claim.

Employees are able to access PLP even if eligible for paid maternity leave from NSW Health or other health employers.

For further information please visit:

While it is positive to see greater flexibility in the scheme, as discussed in a recent SMH article there are still a range of problems associated with the PPL scheme that create gender inequities and need to be addressed. To read more go to: