Spending time with your new baby is essential for bonding, and that’s not just for new mums. Dads and partners need that time too, but it can be tricky when you need to be at work earning money.

Fortunately in Australia, 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 to make that a little easier.

You can take Dad and Partner Pay at any time before or after other paid leave that you may have negotiated with your employer so that you can get the most time at home as possible.

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.

What is Dad and Partner Pay?

Dad and Partner Pay is an entitlement under the Paid Parental Leave Scheme from The Australian Government paid directly to dads or partners.

Dad and Partner Pay is currently $772.55 per week before tax. It’s based on the weekly rate of the national minimum wage. You can receive it for up to 2 weeks which equals 10 days pay.

To get this you must:

  • care for a newborn or newly adopted child
  • have met the income test
  • not be working or taking paid leave during your Dad and Partner Pay period
  • have met the work test.

Dads and partners play a vital role in the early days of a child’s life.

Things to know:

Dad and partner pay is paid directly into the bank account you nominate in one instalment.

PAYG tax at the rate of 15 percent is withheld, unless you request another rate.

Your employer may pay you a top up payment to supplement your Dad and Partner Pay. For example, they may pay the difference between your Dad and Partner Pay and your normal wage. This won’t affect your eligibility.

The government does not consider a top up payment as paid leave for the purposes of Dad and Partner Pay.

The more time that you can spend supporting your partner and creating bonds with your new child the better.

Who qualifies for Dad and Partner Pay?

To get Dad and Partner Pay you must be any of the following:

  • child’s biological father
  • partner of the birth mother
  • adoptive parent
  • partner of an adoptive parent
  • person caring for a child born of a surrogacy arrangement.

In some circumstances, you may also be eligible if you’re either the:

  • partner of the biological father
  • partner of a new carer where care arrangements have changed, other than a foster care or permanent care arrangement.

You also need to meet all of the following conditions:

  • a work test
  • not be working for the same period you get Dad and Partner Pay except for allowable reasons
  • not taking paid leave for the same period you get Dad and Partner Pay
  • be caring for the child on each day of the period you get Dad and Partner Pay
  • meet resident rules and be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
    an income test.

You couldn’t get income from JobKeeper Payment at the same time as Dad and Partner Pay. You can get Dad and Partner Pay after your income from JobKeeper Payment has ended.

Your partner might be able to claim up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave through their employer. So if you and your partner are eligible, your family might be able to get up to 20 weeks paid parental leave when this is combined with Dad and Partner pay.

To find out whether you’re eligible or to claim online, visit Services Australia – Dad and Partner Pay or call 136 150.

Dad and Partner Pay can be take any time within the first 12 months.

Your other entitlements

The Australian Government have a range of other services, tools and information to help you manage your payment or get extra support after welcoming a new child into your family.

In Australia, maternity and parental leave entitlements are determined primarily by Federal Government regulations. However, State Government and employer policies also come into play and should be taken into consideration.

Your family may qualify be able to access Parental Leave Pay, the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement as well as Family Tax Benefit. Visit the Services Australia website to find out whether you’re eligible and to learn more about the range of payments for families.

Dad and Partner Pay doesn’t change any of your existing entitlements to unpaid parental leave under the National Employment Standards.

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Paid Parental Leave

Parental leave is leave that can be taken when:

  • an employee gives birth
  • an employee’s spouse or de facto partner gives birth
  • an employee adopts a child under 16 years of age.

Employees are entitled to 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave, and may also request an additional 52 weeks of leave.

Employees who are taking parental leave to care for an adopted child are also entitled to two days unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend relevant interviews or examinations.

While employers must stick to federal and state government regulations, individual employers often have their own policies in regards to maternity and parental leave. These can vary widely, with some employers being much more generous than others.

Are you entitled to  parental leave?

All employees in Australia are entitled to parental leave. Employees are able to take parental leave if they meet the following requirements:

Employees must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months in full-time, part-time or in some cases casual employment:

  • before the date or expected date of birth if the employee is pregnant
  • before the date of the adoption
  • when the leave starts (if the leave is taken after another person cares for the child or takes parental leave)

For casual employees to be eligible for unpaid parental leave they need to have:

  • been working for their employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months
  • a reasonable expectation of continuing work with the employer on a regular and systematic basis, had it not been for the birth or adoption of a child.

Pregnant employees can begin leave up to six weeks before their due date. eg from week 34 of the pregnancy.

Employees who are adopting or are the partner of a person giving birth, can begin leave the day of the birth/adoption.

Employees who have taken parental leave don’t have to work for another 12 months before they can take another period of parental leave with that same employer. However if they have started work with a new employer they will need to work with that employer for at least 12 months before they can take parental leave.

Employees are entitled to 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave – this applies to either parent, if both are working and are eligible (although only 8 weeks can be taken at the same time).

Employees requesting up to an additional 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave must give four weeks written notice (for leave longer than four weeks). In cases of requests for further leave, employers must respond within 21 days saying yes or no, and providing valid reasons if no.