What parental leave is available for self-employed partners or fathers?
This fact sheet provides information for self-employed spouse/partners or fathers whose partner is giving birth, or who are intending to jointly adopt a child (under six years) about rights to Parental Leave under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
What is the definition of a partner/spouse?
A spouse or partner is a person in a married, civil union or de facto relationship (including same sex partners) with the mother, or primary carer who assumes the care of the child they intend to jointly adopt. They do not need to be the natural parent of the child.
What leave is available?
There is no paid leave available specifically for spouses/partners or fathers.
In the case of a birth, the primary eligibility for paid parental leave lies with the mother. If her partner is also eligible then she may transfer part or all of her entitlement to her partner.
In the case of an adoption, the adoptive parents can choose who has primary eligibility for paid parental leave – that parent may then transfer part or all of the entitlement to the other parent if they are also eligible.
What payment is available?
Eligible self-employed persons are entitled to a taxpayer funded payment for up to 14 weeks. The payment can be taken by one parent, or shared between two eligible partners. The payment for parental leave replaces income up to a maximum amount, this is $475.16 per week before tax for jobs that the parent takes qualifying parental leave from. If you have more than one type of self-employment, you are able to combine employments to be entitled to up to the maximum rate in total. The payment is taxed.
Am I eligible?
To have some or all of your partner’s paid parental leave transferred to you, you must be intending to share responsibility for looking after the child. You must have been self-employed for an average of at least 10 hours a week or more for either the six or 12 months before your due date, or the date you assume care of a child (under the age of six) whom you intend to adopt.
You must also meet the definition of being self-employed, which is doing one or more of the following:
- Providing goods or services for hire or reward under a contract for services
- Carrying on a business for profit. This includes being in partnership with another person
- Working for a trust in a business owned by the trust.
When can I take leave?
Where paid parental leave entitlement is transferred to an eligible partner, the leave will start at the date elected by both parents on the application form.
Parental leave can be taken for subsequent children provided the eligibility criteria are met. However, you cannot be eligible for another period of parental leave unless the expected date of delivery or adoption is at least six months after you’ve returned to work from a previous period of parental leave.