As a dad or partner your role is vital in those early days. The more time that you can spend supporting your partner and creating bonds with your new child the better.

A promising new “gender equity” scheme being considered by PM Anthony Albanese’s Labor government could see men accessing up to 20 weeks of tax-payer funded paternity leave after welcoming a child to better support those bonds.

The new plan, aimed at closing the current gender gap, could see new fathers could get up to 20 weeks of government-funded leave to be used at any point before their child turns two, a game changer for modern Australian families.

Speaking with The Australian, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said she and the newly elected Labor government were “keen” to review the current rules, and were doing so to ensure the new proposal, which she supports, presented no unforeseen consequences.

“Society has changed. A lot more men do want to play a role. And a lot of men do say they want to be the primary caregiver for some period of time,” she said.

“I’m having a really good look at what can be done with paid parental leave”.

What are the current rules for parental leave

While parental leave has certainly come a long way, according to critics, it still has a long way to go.

They claim that the current system, which only allows fathers two weeks of paid paternity leave, forces women to leave the workforce to care for newborns solo.

Dad and Partner Pay gives working dads and partners up to two weeks of government-funded pay to be taken in the first year following birth or adoption. While primary caregivers, defined as the mother in straight relationships, currently receive 18 weeks of parental leave paid at the minimum wage.

The rules clearly need a shakeup to accomodate modern families, and that was even recognised by the  previous Liberal government who’s latest budget moved to allow couples to combine these two leave allowances and delegate the time off to whichever partner suited the role best.

Read more on Dad and Partner pay here …

As a dad or partner your role is vital in those early days.

Critics say 20 weeks is not enough

Australian family advocacy group, The Parenthood wants has launched a petition urging the government to go even further than 20 weeks for either parent.

They have launched a petition, calling on every Federal political representative to make commitments on:

  • One year of Paid Parental Leave to be shared between parents, at full pay including super.
  • Universal access to Early Childhood Education and Care and Outside School Hours Care delivered by a well supported and properly paid workforce.

“There has been an effort among some corporations in Australia to encourage dads to take extended parental leave… offering 18 weeks of paid leave to any parent within the first 12 months of the baby coming,” Executive Director Georgie Dent told The Australian.

“And flexibility about how and when that’s taken,” she added. “For example if a new father wants to take a few weeks of paid leave after his baby is born and then another few weeks several months later some workplaces are fine with this.”