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Paid Parental Leave Scheme - Case Studies

Would you like to know more about the Australian Government's new Paid Parental Leave Scheme? The following case studies might help you understand whether or not you are eligable for the scheme. Case studies include:

  1. Birth mother (working parenting)
  2. Birth mother (stay-at-home mum)
  3. Father receiving unused Parental Leave Pay
  4. Adoptive parent
  5. Casual worker with more than one employer
  6. Self-employed mum
  7. Mum working on a family farm which is not yet generating any income

1. Birth mother (working parent)

Danielle and Aaron are expecting their first child on 15 January 2011. Danielle has worked four days a week for the last three years as a theatre nurse at a local hospital. She is eligible for Parental Leave Pay as she meets the work and income tests and is an Australian resident. 

Danielle discusses her leave entitlements with her payroll area and is advised that in addition to the standard 12 months of unpaid maternity leave for long-term employees, under her workplace agreement she is entitled to twelve weeks of that leave as employer-provided paid maternity leave.  Danielle advises her payroll area that she is planning to claim Parental Leave Pay. Danielle asks for her employer-provided paid leave to start four weeks before her baby is due and would like her Government-funded Parental Leave Pay to start after her employer-provided paid leave is finished.  Danielle’s payroll area advises her that their payroll systems are in place to provide the Government-funded Parental Leave Pay to her. 

Danielle lodges a claim for Paid Parental Leave with the Family Assistance Office three months before the expected date of birth of her baby and gives the Family Assistance Office her employer’s details when she lodges her claim. The Family Assistance Office decides Danielle is eligible to receive Parental Leave Pay, and her employer will provide the Parental Leave Pay.  The Family Assistance Office will then contact Danielle’s employer.  The employer is asked to confirm their details and provide their bank account and Danielle’s pay cycle details.  The Family Assistance Office also advises how the Paid Parental Leave funds will be advanced to the employer prior to the employer providing the Government-funded Parental Leave Pay to Danielle.

Danielle gives birth to a baby boy named Charlie. She registers Charlie’s birth and provides the birth certification form to the Family Assistance Office two weeks after Charlie is born. The Family Assistance Office receives this information and makes arrangements to begin advancing the Paid Parental Leave funding amounts to Danielle’s employer in fortnightly installments in time for Danielle to start receiving her Parental Leave Pay when her employer-provided paid leave ends.

By combining her employer-provided paid leave with Government-funded Parental Leave Pay, Danielle is able to have a total of six months of time of work with pay following the birth of Charlie.  When her Parental Leave Pay finishes, Danielle continues to care for Charlie for the next several months on unpaid maternity leave.

While she is receiving Parental Leave Pay, Danielle is asked if she wants to attend two work training days and she agrees. Although Danielle could not return to work and continue to receive Parental Leave Pay, the Paid Parental Leave ‘keeping in touch’ provisions allow Danielle to attend work for the purpose of keeping in touch for up to ten days during the Paid Parental Leave period. Thus, Danielle is able to keep up-to-date with her training at the hospital and continue to receive Parental Leave Pay.

2. Birth mother (stay-at-home mum)

Melanie and Ben have two children. Melanie cares for the children full-time and is pregnant with her third child.  Melanie volunteers with her children’s playgroup and the community cricket club.  Melanie does not do any paid work and so does not meet the Paid Parental Leave work test.

Melanie’s and Ben’s combined annual income is $78 000.  Melanie is eligible for the Baby Bonus because her family’s combined income for the six months following the birth is $39 000.  Melanie claims the Baby Bonus, which is paid to her in 13 fortnightly installments and is tax free.  Melanie also continues to receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B.

3. Father receiving unused Parental Leave Pay

Natalie works two days a week at a local retail store.  She has been an employee there for three years. Natalie is expecting her second baby in March 2011 and thinks she might be eligible for the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Natalie visits the Family Assistance Office website to find out more information.  She is eligible for Parental Leave Pay as she meets the work and income tests and is an Australian resident.  Natalie uses the Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator to see if she will be better off receiving Parental Leave Pay or the Baby Bonus.

Natalie decides to claim Parental Leave Pay before the birth of her baby to help prevent any delay in providing Parental Leave Pay.  She tells her employer that she intends to claim Parental Leave Pay and they discuss her leave entitlements, including the twelve months unpaid parental leave Natalie is entitled to under the National Employment Standards.  Natalie’s employer advises her that they will be unable to provide her Parental Leave Pay as their payroll systems will not be ready until July 2011.  Natalie lodges her claim for Paid Parental Leave with the Family Assistance Office two months before her child is born, and requests that the pay starts from the date of birth.

Following the birth of baby Erica, Natalie quickly provides her birth certification form to the Family Assistance Office.  Natalie begins receiving her Parental Leave Pay two weeks after the birth Erica, she receives the Parental Leave Pay fortnightly in arreas.

After receiving eleven weeks of Parental Leave Pay Natalie decides to return to work and her partner Alvaro takes some time off work to care for Erica.  Natalie tells the Family Assistance Office she is returning to work.  The Family Assistance Office advises that Alvaro may be eligible to receive the balance of Natalie’s Parental Leave Pay, and so he lodges a claim.  As Alvaro is an Australian resident, has worked full-time for a number of years and has an individual income under $150,000, he meets all the eligibility requirements.  Alvaro is eligible to receive the unused seven week portion of Natalie’s 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay.  As Alvaro is to receive less than eight weeks of Parental Leave Pay, the Family Assistance Office provides him with his Parental Leave Pay each fortnight.

4. Adoptive parents

Belinda and Renee plan to adopt a nine year old orphan from China called Sui Ling.  After fulfilling all the adoption requirements, they begin preparations for welcoming their new daughter into their family in August 2011.  Belinda and Renee decide that they will both take time away from work to stay at home with Sui Ling, so she can get to know her new parents and adjust to life in Australia. 

Belinda and Renee both work full-time and both meet the Paid Parental Leave work test, income test and are Australian residents.  Before Belinda and Renee lodge a claim for Paid Parental Leave, they get more information from the Family Assistance Office website and check the Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator to work out if they will be better off receiving Paid Parental Leave rather than the Baby Bonus.

Belinda and Renee decide that Paid Parental Leave suits their family’s circumstances and helps them to balance their caring role.  As Belinda speaks fluent Mandarin she will undertake the main caring role for the first nine weeks, and Renee will take the remaining nine weeks.

Belinda and Renee both lodge their claims for Paid Parental Leave with the Family Assistance Office three months before Sui Ling is to arrive.  The Family Assistance Office makes the arrangements with Belinda’s and Renee’s employers to advance the Paid Parental Leave funds so that each employer can each provide nine weeks of Government-funded Parental Leave Pay to their employee.  Belinda receives Parental Leave Pay for the first nine weeks and then returns to work.  Renee then receives the remaining nine weeks of Parental Leave Pay. 

The ability to transfer Parental Leave Pay means Belinda and Renee are able to share the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay.  This allows them to both spend time with their new daughter Sui Ling.

5. Casual worker with more than one employer

Erin is a casual worker who wants to receive Parental Leave Pay when she has her first baby, but is not sure if she has worked enough to meet the scheme’s work test.

A person can meet the Paid Parental Leave work test if they have worked for ten out of 13 months prior to birth if they have worked for at least 330 hours in that ten month period (just over one day a week) and if they did not have more than an eight week break between working days.

Starting from 13 months before the birth of her baby, for seven months Erin had two casual jobs and worked 30 hours each week.  When those jobs finished, Erin had a four week break before getting another casual job at five hours a week.  Erin plans to stay at this job until just before her baby is due.

Erin claims Paid Parental Leave one month before her baby is due.  She is able to meet the scheme’s work test at this time because in the 13 months before her baby is due, she has already worked 11 months, she has worked more than 330 hours in ten of those months, and she has not had more than an eight week break.

The Family Assistance Office decides that Erin also meets the other eligibility criteria for the scheme.  The Family Assistance Office will provide Erin her Parental Leave Pay because she has not worked for her current employer for 12 months or more.  Erin asks for her Parental Leave Pay to start from the day her baby is born.  If Erin lodges the birth certification form with the Family Assistance Office within 28 days of her baby’s birth, she will be able to receive her Parental Leave Pay in fortnightly installments for the 18 week period that starts on the day the baby is born.

6. Self-employed mum

Lisa is a young mum who runs an online business selling customized jewellery.  She runs her business from home and works around 15 hours a week.  Lisa’s partner works full-time in the automotive industry.

Lisa is expecting her second child in March 2011.  She is eligible for the Paid Parental Leave scheme as she meets the work and income tests and is an Australian resident.  Before Lisa lodges her claim for Paid Parental Leave, she checks the Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator to see if she will be better off receiving Parental Leave Pay or the Baby Bonus

Lisa lodges a claim for Paid Parental Leave three months before the expected date of birth of her second child, and nominates her Paid Parental Leave period to begin on the day of her baby’s birth. Because Lisa is self-employed, she is provided her Parental Leave Pay by the Family Assistance Office.
Lisa employs another person to help her keep the business running and perform necessary tasks such as ordering supplies, filling orders and updating the website. As a self-employed worker, Lisa is able to oversee the business and perform occasional administrative tasks while she continues receiving her Parental Leave Pay.

7. Mum working on a family farm which is not yet generating any income

Kate and Luke have owned an olive farm for two years. While Luke does the majority of the farming and also has a job off the farm, Kate manages the financial side of the farm business and also helps with some of the physical work.  Kate averages around 20 hours work a week.  The farm has not yet generated any income.

Kate is expecting her first baby in February 2011 and wants to claim Paid Parental Leave. The work Kate has done for the business allows her to meet the Paid Parental Leave work test because it is work she has carried out for financial reward or gain, even though the farm has not yet generated any income.

Kate contacts the Family Assistance Office to ask if she can receive Parental Leave Pay from when the baby is born and still do some occasional work for the business. The Family Assistance Office advises Kate that as she is self-employed, she will be able to oversee the business and do occasional administrative tasks during the 18 weeks she is receiving Parental Leave Pay.

Kate claims Paid Parental Leave and because she is a self-employed worker the Family Assistance Office provides her with 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay, paid fortnightly.

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