Government-funded leave for new dads and partners

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Government-funded leave for new dads and partners

The government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme will be extended by introducing a new payment — called Dad and Partner Pay — for eligible working fathers and partners.

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The government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme will be extended by introducing a new payment — called Dad and Partner Pay — for eligible working fathers and partners.

The Dad and Partner Pay leave scheme passed through Parliament this week.

The new payment will be added to the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010.

Dad and Partner Pay will be available to eligible fathers and partners, including adopting parents and parents in same-sex couples, who are caring for a child born or adopted from 1 January 2013.

Eligible fathers and partners will be able to receive two weeks of Dad and Partner Pay at the rate of the national minimum wage, the same weekly rate as for the existing parental leave pay — currently $590 a week before tax.

Details on the legislation are available on the Parliamentary Business webpage.

Unions welcome move
 
Dads will no longer have to justify asking for time off work when their new baby arrives, thanks to new laws that ensure they have the right to access paid parental leave, say unions.

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said unions had campaigned for paid parental leave for both parents for more than 30 years.

‘Unions welcome the expansion of the Government’s paid parental leave scheme to include the right for dads and partners to spend time with their family after the birth of their child,’ Mr Oliver said.

‘All parents have a right to spend time together with their new baby and there is no reason why work should prevent them from doing so.’

‘We know all parents want to spend time with their children when they are born.’

Topping up?
 
Oliver said unions were already talking to employers about ‘topping up’ the minimum wage amount to reach their workers’ ordinary wages as part of workplace agreement negotiations.

Coverage of legislation
 
He said the new laws would allow fathers and partners, including adopting parents and parents in same-sex couples, to freely seek access to leave.

‘Many dads and partners do get to share in the joyous time when their new baby arrives already, but there are also many who either do not feel comfortable asking for time off when their partner gives birth, or simply have their request rejected.’

‘This is wrong and unions are pleased that these new laws means all employers will now have to move into the modern era and will help ensure workplaces reflect the reality of modern working families.’

Oliver said the financial support would be especially important for the growing number of workers in insecure work, particularly those in casual or contract work, who usually had to forfeit all leave entitlements.
 
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