Paid Parental Leave is Available to Freelancers from 1 January 2011
After 1st January 2011, Freelancers will be eligible to receive paid parental leave at the minimum national wage currently set at $544 gross per week. Parents are only entitled to paid leave after the birth or adoption of the child, not before, and may be taken any time thereafter so long as the entire 18 weeks are taken within the first 12 months of the date of birth.
To be eligible, a parent will need to meet the Paid Parental Leave work test, the income test and the residency requirements. Typically this means that the parent has worked for at least 10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of the child, worked a minimum of 330 hours during that period and there was not a break of more than 8 weeks between work periods. Only parents with an adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less will be eligible. Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens who entered on a NZ passport and some specified temporary visa holders are all eligible to claim Paid Parental leave. Partners are also eligible to use any unused portion if the primary carer has chosen return to work.
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This article was published in the Australia Freelance Market Newsletter 58.