Expectant parents who have lost their jobs due to extended lockdowns will not miss out on Paid Parental Leave during legislative changes to be introduced to Parliament today.
The proposed changes change the work test to allow expectant parents who lost their jobs during shutdowns to apply
Parents receiving the COVID-19 emergency payment, which was reverted to the paid parental leave scheme, can reapply
The Minister for Family and Social Affairs hopes that the legislation will pass Parliament in the next meeting two weeks
The federal government will seek to change the system of paid parental leave to allow expectant mothers and fathers to count the period during which they received the COVID-19 disaster payment for the work test.
Under existing rules, parents must show that they have worked 10 out of 13 months up to the birth of their child and must not have had more than a 12-week interval between working days.
Family and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the proposed change would ensure that parents who have had their hours cut or have been laid off during recent outbreaks are still eligible.
“We know there are many families who have been in lockdown areas who have a baby on the way, and we want to make sure those lockdowns do not affect their entitlement to paid parental leave,” Ruston told ABC.
In Greater Sydney, where the lockout has been extended to September 30, the government estimates that up to 14,000 families could miss out on parental leave pay or father and partner pay.
Senator Ruston said parents receiving COVID-19 disaster payments who may have already had their paid parental leave applications turned down will be able to apply retroactively.
“We hope the legislation will pass Parliament in the next sitting two weeks and be given royal consent immediately,” she said.
COVID-19 emergency payments of $ 750 per week are available to Australians who have lost more than 20 hours of work due to shutdowns, while those who have lost between 8 and 20 hours can apply for payments of $ 450 per week.
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