Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Dads welcome a special new arrival

Today marks the first day of the Gillard Government’s Dad and Partner Pay which gives more support for working dads when a baby arrives.

Dad and Partner Pay extends the Australian Government’s successful Paid Parental Leave scheme which has helped about 250,000 working parents – mostly mums – since 2011.

Now dads can get financial support to spend more time off with their new babies too.

Dad and Partner Pay gives eligible working dads and same-sex partners two weeks of Government-funded pay at the rate of the national minimum wage (currently about $606 per week before tax), for children born or adopted from today.

The Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin, today visited new parents at The Mercy Hospital in Melbourne to celebrate the arrival of Dad and Partner Pay.

“This is a big change for some dads and a welcome one at that,” Ms Macklin said.

“For many self-employed dads, contractors and casual workers this will be the first time they’ll have access to any paid paternity leave. It will give them some extra support to take time off to bond with their baby and help mum recover from the birth.

“Families in this day and age want dad to have the chance to spend time at home with mum and baby – it’s good for the whole family.”

To be eligible, dads and same-sex partners must be Australian residents and:

  • have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) in 10 of the 13 months before the start of their payment;
  • have earned $150,000 or less in the previous financial year; and
  • be on unpaid leave or not working and be caring for their child during their two weeks of Dad and Partner Pay.

Dads and same-sex partners can be eligible for the payment even if their partner is not receiving the Government’s Paid Parental Leave. Claims must be lodged by the dad or partner who is eligible to receive the payment.

Ms Macklin said dads could apply up to three months before their baby’s due date, making it easier for parents to get ready.

“Since applications opened on 1 October almost 1000 dads and same-sex partners have lodged a claim,” Ms Macklin said.

“I encourage eligible parents to get the paperwork done for this and Paid Parental Leave early – it takes a bit of pressure off in those first few weeks after the birth.”

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