Changes to the Parental Leave Pay (PLP) Scheme in Australia Explained

July 2, 2020
2 mins read
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The recent changes made to the PLP scheme affects people with a child born or adopted on or after 1st July 2020.

As an employer, you will still need to provide PLP to eligible employees on behalf of the Australian Government. Your employees may still get up to 18 weeks of PLP. However, with the new changes implemented, the PLP will be available to the employee as:

  • A PLP period of up to 12 weeks, which is 60 payable days
  • 30 PLP leave days.

Parental Leave Pay

The first period is a set period of 12 weeks. This needs to be used within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child and can’t be split into more than 1 period.

Flexible Parental Leave Pay

  • Is up to 30 days
  • Usually starts after the first period has ended
  • Can be used in flexible periods negotiated between the employee and employer
  • Has to be used within 24 months of a child’s birth or adoption.

Employees who want to use flexible PLP when they return to work from parental leave need to come to an agreement with their employer about how it will work in their circumstances.

Employees and employers can consider:

  • Reducing the hours or days of work
  • Changing the pattern of work
  • Taking additional unpaid leave.

An employee’s unpaid parental leave ends when they return to work, even if they’re working less or different hours than previously did.

Example: Requesting flexible PLP

  • Kerry works part-time, 4 days a week. After the child’s birth, she uses her initial 12 set weeks of PLP while she’s on parental leave from work.
  • After the 12 weeks, Kerry returns to work, hoping to access flexible PLP. Kerry and her employer agree that she’ll work 2 days per week and use flexible PLP for the other 2 days. They also agree that after her flexible PLP runs out, she’ll return to 4 days of work a week.
  • Kerry takes her flexible PLP for 2 days each week for the next 15 weeks – a total of 30 days. She then returns to work for 4 days a week as agreed with her employer.


Please also refer to the Australian Government website for more details.

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