The Australian government recently announced that the existing government-paid primary caregiver parental leave and partners leave will be combined into a single 20 week leave available to, and shareable between, both parents starting from 1 July 2023. Once combined, the parental leave will increase by an additional 2 weeks every year from 1 July 2024 until it reaches 26 weeks on 1 July 2026.


The current parental leave benefits are provided through the Parental Leave Pay (PLP) and the Dad and Partner Pay (DAPP). The PLP provides new mothers and primary caregivers with up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave, while the DAPP provides new fathers or partners with up to two weeks of paid parental leave.

Key details

Effective 1 July 2023, the existing PLP and DAPP schemes will be combined into a combined 20-week gender neutral parental leave and made available for both parents. Single parents would still be eligible to receive the full 20-week leave. Starting from 1 July 2024, the parental leave entitlements will be expanded by two weeks each year, until they reach a statutory limit of 26 weeks on 1 July 2026. The parental leave entitlements will be government-paid and offered at the rate of the national minimum wage.

The income threshold limit to qualify for the new parental leave entitlements will be AUD 156,647 for each parent or AUD 350,000 for a family.

Parents will have equal access to the new parental leave entitlements. This means that parents have the freedom to jointly decide on how to split the leave between them, and whether to claim them concurrently or sequentially

Parents will have a period two years from the date of birth or adoption of their child to use their parental leave benefits or they will lose them. Parents will be able to take their parental leave in blocks or one-day increments.

Next steps

Employers should review the changes and ensure compliance by amending their HR internal policies and practices, employment agreements, company level collective bargaining agreements, and family-related benefits and policies as needed.