Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Happy Father’s Day to Australian dads

On Father’s Day the Australian Government has today started public consultations on its plan to introduce two weeks of paid leave for dads to take time off work to spend with their newborn babies.

From 1 January 2013, the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme will be expanded to include a dedicated payment for dads and other partners. Eligible working dads and other partners will have access to two weeks Dad and Partner Pay at the national minimum wage, which is currently about $590 a week before tax.

This new entitlement will give dads and other partners financial support to take time off work to support new mums and be involved in the care of their new baby right from the start.

This is good for dads, good for mums, and gives babies the best start in life.

This additional financial assistance will be especially important for fathers who find it difficult to balance the family budget when their baby is born, such as casual employees without annual leave entitlements and self-employed people like tradespeople, small business owners and those working in a family business or farm.

It took until 2011 for Australia to catch up with the developed world by introducing Paid Parental Leave, and we don’t want Australian dads to be left behind again.

The Australian Government today released a consultation paper on Dad and Partner Pay to ensure that parents and employers can have their say on the new entitlement.

Employer and employee groups, small business groups, family and community groups and individuals are invited to make their comments on the consultation paper.

Dad and Partner Pay builds on the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme which began on 1 January this year.

Australian families have embraced Paid Parental Leave. More than 27,000 parents have finished receiving the payment and an additional 34,000 parents are currently receiving it. Many of these parents are part-time, casual, seasonal and self employed workers, who previously had no access to paid parental leave.

The design of Dad and Partner Pay is based closely on the independent expert recommendations of the Productivity Commission.

The new payment will be available to eligible working fathers or partners (including adopting parents and parents in same-sex couples) who share the role of caring for a child born or adopted from 1 January 2013, and who meet the same income test and work test as the current Paid Parental Leave scheme.

A family may receive Dad and Partner Pay either on its own or in addition to other family payments such as Paid Parental Leave, the Baby Bonus and Family Tax Benefit. The mother or other parent does not have to be accessing the Paid Parental Leave scheme for her partner to be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay.

Dad and Partner Pay is funded by the Australian Government and will cost $188.5 million over 5 years (2010-11 to 2014-15).

The consultation paper is available at: or by calling 1800 050 009.

The consultation period finishes on 17 October 2011.