Paid Parental Leave Scheme - Case StudiesWould 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 eligible for the scheme. Case studies include:

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

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.

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.

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.

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