Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Paid Parental Leave : What you need to know!

I've heard so many pregnant women and new mums ask questions about what is happening with Paid Parental Leave (PPL) following Prime Minister Abbott's announcement yesterday that he will be dumping the planned scheme.

Essentially this means things will stay as they are now. This means we will still be eligible for the 18 weeks Paid Parental Leave at the national minimum wages, working out to be approximately $640 per week before tax. This is assuming you have worked the required number of months and hours in the previous 13 months before having your bub. 

When I first found out I was pregnant with my little girl, realising that I would get squat from my employer in maternity pay as I was on a contract (and subsequently let go because I had a baby despite eight years of service), I went out in search of what I was entitled to from the Government. 

All that convoluted garbage Centrelink publish on this left me pretty confused. It was like they made the whole process so complicated in hopes that already stressed and tired pregnant ladies would just give up.  How do I apply? How much do I get? Will I be eligible? How is this new scheme going to affect me?

Well I thought it was timely to break down some of these questions for all the expectant mummies out there!

These aren't all the answers, but it might help break threw all the confusion!

Am I eligible?

You need to meet the eligibility requirements. This means you need to have worked at least 10 out of the previous 13 months with no more that a 8 week unpaid break. This can be casual, part time or full time as long as you have clocked up 330 hours. It can also be under different employers.

How do I apply?

You can apply online through MyGov, which to be honest is pretty darn useless. I kept forgetting my ridiculous username and they asked me validation questions I could not for the life of me remember. Then you need to provide proof of birth once bub arrives. This can just be the form they give you at the hospital.

The other option is to fill out the paperwork they give you at the hospital when your bub is born. These forms are designed to confuse you. My tip, go into a Centrelink office an have them fill it out for you. That's what I did. Between my newborn and the confuddling forms, I did not have the brain power to tackle it.

How much will I receive?

Its minimum wage, around $640 a week for 18 weeks before tax. This works out to be about $1020 a fortnight after tax.

Will my employer paid maternity leave be affected?

Unless you have an employer who has a super fantastic maternity leave scheme and pays you a years worth of maternity leave, then it probably wont be affected. You may want to put the start date for your PPL down to start once your employers maternity leave finishes as it may affect your ability to receive the PPL.

Can I get any other support?

If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for the Family Tax Benefit, if you request to apply for it on the forms, they will send you a letter telling you if you are eligible or not.

Once your PPL runs out, if you are on a low income or studying, you may also be eligible for New Start or Parenting Pay.

Once your kids are in child care, you should also be eligible for the Child Care Rebate or Child Care Benefits Subsidy as well, at least for now, pending his proposed 'families package',  but that's for another post. 

Does Tony Abbott dumping his PPL scheme change this?

Tony Abbott has dumped his planned Paid Parental Leave Scheme which would have given women 26 weeks of leave at full pay starting from 1 July 2015. Now the important bit! Only this new scheme has been dumped, not the old one! Don't worry you will still be eligible for the current 18 week scheme.

In this blogger's opinion, I was not fully on board with the new scheme. Seeing my grandparents struggle on the aged pension after putting in the hard slog and never getting any sort of maternity leave back in the day, I would rather see that money go on the aged pension. But that is just my opinion.

So not to worry, at least for now mummies-to-be! We all have 18 weeks to enjoy our babies!

Note - I am not an authority on the PPL. Here is the Centrelink website if you would like to decipher it http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/parental-leave-pay

4 comments:

  1. I find anything Centrelink-related a bloody nightmare!!! Terrible website, useless customer service, confusing information. Like most Govt agencues really! But at least we're lucky enough to have a gov funded PPL scheme available.

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  2. Absolutely! So many first world countries still don't have any sort of government paid maternity leave scheme. Our mothers and grandmothers never had it either, so I feel I'm lucky to have the opportunity to even spend 18 weeks with my bub!

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  3. So ... what you're trying to say is ... I SHOULDN'T go ahead with my new business venture for a baby-making factory in order to capitalise on government payments...?!?!
    Dammit, another great idea that wasn't born.

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    1. Possible rethink on that might be required :) I'm not sure the Government is in the habit giving away too much money!

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