Australia extends paid parental leave to more families
Australia’s extended parental pay scheme has been extended to prioritise childcare and working parents. From July 2023, parents who wish to qualify for the revised scheme will be assessed based on their combined income, as opposed to the past when paid parental leave was based on individual income.
The new income threshold has now been increased to a combined cut-off of A$350,000 (US$221,246), which is expected to benefit more than 180,000 families nationally. This change in income threshold would boost workforce participation of women who are primary breadwinners, said Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor.
A decision was announced earlier to increase the paid parental leave by two weeks every year from 1 July 2024 until it reaches the full 26 weeks in July 2026.
READ: Employees in Australia promised up to six months of paid parental leave
As part of the new plan, both parents will have the option to take their leave at the same time. The rules will also be revised to make it easier for partners who do not meet the residency requirements to be eligible to take part in the scheme.
One of the priorities is “making sure that we get paid parental leave right so that families can better manage their work and family responsibilities,” said Treasurer Jim Chalmers, reported Sky News.