How much is Paid Parental Leave?

How Much is Paid Parental Leave? Myth v Fact

So how much is Paid Parental Leave? Just like one big game of broken telephone, the information that gets passed around about Paid Parental Leave (PPL) changes depending on who you speak to. Since there is so much to know it is understandable. I’ve made a list of some of the more common things that I have heard or read, especially in Facebook groups, about your right to receive PPL and will try to set the record straight.

1. You have to have worked for one employer during your entire pregnancy.
You need to meet the Work Test to receive PPL. The test does not measure how many jobs you have had, but how many hours of work you have performed. You need to have worked for 330 hours in a 10 month period over the 13 months before you due date. You can achieve this in one job or many jobs. This includes contract work and also working two or more jobs at once. Keep a record of the number of hours of work you perform during this time to ensure you meet the Work Test.

2. You have to be working for a year before you go on parental leave.
I believe that this false comment comes up because of a different rule, from a different law, that has nothing to do with PPL. That is, if you have worked for 12 months continuously for an employer, they are required to give you 52 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. This is completely different to the requirements under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 which contains the laws about the payment of PPL. Note that one law discusses the rules about you being able to take the parental leave and the other the rules about the payment of money for PPL. It is possible to qualify for one and not the other. If you meet the Work Test, even if it is for more than one employer you will still be paid PPL, but your employer may not be required by law to give you leave. Given that you can’t work while receiving PPL this may be problematic for some.

3. You don’t get PPL if you are Self Employed
You certainly are entitled to receive it; it just takes a little extra planning. You will need to specify in your application to be paid directly by Centrelink rather than an employer. Also you will need to work out the best way for you to show Centrelink that you have worked the 330 hours in the Work Test. This varies for everyone but you could keep a diary or perhaps show the invoices that you have issued during the period before your due date.

4. You apply after you have given birth
Not necessarily. You can submit your application up to 90 days before your due date. Personally I think that this is the best time to do this as once you have given birth, the last thing you want to be doing is paperwork! You will receive a proof of birth document from your hospital that can be uploaded to Centrelink online or on their App which is then matched to your application to begin your payment of PPL.

5. Everyone can get it.
That would be nice wouldn’t it? As I mentioned, you need to meet the Work Test in order to receive PPL. You also need to be a permanent resident, earn less than $150,000 in the financial year that ended before your application and not be working at all whilst receiving your PPL.

6. You have to go into Centrelink to Apply.
If you can avoid doing this then do it! Your application can be done online through the governments’ website my.gov.au. If you have never dealt with Centrelink before you will need to go in to allow for them to view your original documents for proof of identity. Otherwise, apply online as much as you can, I can’t stress this highly enough!!

7. Paid Parental Leave includes Superannuation
The law does not require your employer to continue to pay into your Super fund while you are receiving PPL. However, I have noticed a very small number of companies starting to do this. Given the large variation is Superannuation balances between men and women the older they get then I wonder if this could be something that future governments consider changing.

I’m sure there are many more myths surrounding Paid Parental Leave so I hope this covers the main ones. How much is Paid Parental Leave? From 1 July 2018, Paid Parental Leave is $719.35 a week for 18 weeks.

If you would like help with filling out your application, enter your details below for my free checklist. It tells you every piece of data that you need to enter into your application.

Download Making Sense of Paid Parental Leave  for $17. 

  • Get your application completed  all online.
  • Review the different tests and apply them to your situation.
  • Understand how it affects your tax.
  • Learn about  Dad & Partner Pay details.
  • Stops wanting to pull your hair out!

Completing your Child Care Subsidy Assessment

We now know that we wont automatically transfer across from the Child Care Benefit to the new Child Care Subsidy. For this to happen, you must complete a Child Care Subsidy Assessment before 2 July 2018 to continue to received Child Care funding. This post has the instructions to help you do this quickly. Honestly I got it done in about 7 minutes however my husband and I have regular hours so there wasn’t anything we needed to calculate.

I updated my information in the Centrelink App, but if you log into your my.Gov.au account you will also be presented with a list of Tasks to complete.

1. I have two tasks to complete and I press the Task button and swipe to the Child Care Subsidy assessment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. There are four tasks that need to be completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The first task asks for your estimated income in the 2018-19 financial year. Complete this in the exactly the same way you have done each year that you have accessed the Childcare Benefit. Add together any salary, fringe benefits tax, child support etc.  You could estimate this amount, but I would give this some serious consideration if you think that your family could be near the amount of $186,958. Family income over this amount is subject to a cap each year. For the 2018/19 year it has been indexed up to $10,190.

4. You then need to put in an estimate of the number of hours a fortnight that you and your partner meet the Activity Test, for a full list of Activities you can include refer to this post, but the main items you count hours for are:

  • Paid Work – including maternity or paternity leave, long service leave and annual leave
  • Study
  • Training
  • Unpaid internship or work experience
  • Volunteering
  • Setting up a business
  • Unpaid work in a family business
  • Looking for work
  • Caring for a child or adult with a disability

If you are in casual work – and therefore the number of hours you perform a work activity is different each fortnight, you will be asked to estimate the highest number of hours you expect to work in any fortnight over a three month period. This is the part that may take the most time to calculate.

I used the current date as a start date.

You can add a new Activity Test for each different activity you perform each fortnight. Just use the plus sign at the bottom.

 

5. Review the school details of each child that you have currently enrolled for Childcare Benefit. If your child is not yet at school then select none. Otherwise select Primary Education is they are enrolled at school.

6. Confirm all your information and you will receive a Claim ID.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What else?

If you want the easy explanation about all the new changes, I have prepared The Child Care Subsidy Solution. A simple, straight forward FREE ebook that shows you how the new Subsidy works and what you could do to increase your Subsidy. Download your copy by entering your details below.

What is the Child Care Subsidy Activity Test?

The number of hours of Child Care Subsidy that your family receives is dependent on the number of Activity hours that you undertake each fortnight. This is called the Activity Test. You will be asked to estimate your fortnightly Activity Test hours in your Child Care Subsidy Assessment. Details of that can be found here.

If your family earns above $68,163 per year, the hours of Subsidy per child that you receive are:

8+ > 16 hours a fortnight of Activity = 36 hours a fortnight of Subsidy

16+ > 48 hours a fortnight of Activity = 72 hours a fortnight of Subsidy

48+ hours a fortnight of Activity = 100 hours a fortnight of Subsidy

The number of hours a fortnight are measured against the parent with the lowest number of hours performed each fortnight.

ok, so, what meets the Activity Test?

It’s a long list but there are a few things worth knowing

    • paid work
    • paid leave (annual, sick, long service etc)
    • self employed work
    • unpaid work in the family business
    • training to improve your work skills
    • approved study
    • volunteering
    • looking for work will meet 8 hours a week of the Activity Test which can be combined with other Activities
    • travel time between the child care service and parents place of activity – but try to be reasonable
    • they can all be added together
    • they dont have to be performed during the hours that the child care service is being provided
    • you dont have to provide proof of the number of hours when estimating
    • but there might be spot checks – so be reasonable
    • casual workers will need to estimate their Activity Test over a three month period – include the fortnight with the highest number of hours in your estimate
    • If you receive a Carer Payment you will automatically undertake 100 hours a fortnight towards the Activity Test.
    • If you receive a Carer Allowance you will automatically undertake 72 hours a fortnight towards the Activity Test. However if you have a partner and they have less hours of activity than you, their hours will be used to determine your Subsidy
    • Grandparents who are primary carers for their grandchildren don’t need to undertake any hours to receive the Subsidy
    • Teachers can apply the same number of hours during the school holidays as they would during term time for the Activity Test
    • Paid and Unpaid Parental Leave is included as an activity. The number of hours used for the Activity Test is the number of hours a fortnight that you were working before going on leave. There is no longer a 12 month maximum of parental leave in order to receive child care payments. However there should be an expectation that you will be returning to your job as part of your employment.

What else?

If you would like more information on the new Child Care Subsidy, I have prepared The Child Care Subsidy Solution. A simple, straight forward FREE ebook that explains exactly what the new Subsidy is all about. You can download a copy by entering your details below.

An explanation of the Additional Childcare Subsidy.

The new Childcare Subsidy has completely changed how families receive their Childcare Payments by merging two payments into one and moving the focus of the Subsidy towards assisting both parents to return to work. As I often say with this – the more you work, the more Subsidy you get!

The government has also introduced a further top up to the Childcare Subsidy called the Childcare Safety Net and one of the parts of this is the Additional Childcare Subsidy. This is focused on assisting families in need and to allow for the most vulnerable children to continue to access Childcare where they may not be able to afford it. These new payments replace the current subsidies of Special Child Care Benefit, Grandparent Child Care Benefit and the Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance payment.

The four additional payments that families can apply to access are:

 

  1. Child Well being

Families could receive an additional child care subsidy for the full amount of their daily fee for up to 100 hours a fortnight to assist children that have been identified to be at serious threat of abuse or neglect. This additional funding can be applied for by both the child’s guardian or the childcare service itself.

 

  1. Grandparents

Grandparents that are principal carers for more than 65% of the time and already receive some form of income support could receive a subsidy for the full amount of their daily fee for up to 100 hours a fortnight.

 

  1. Temporary Financial Hardship

Families that are suffering significant financial hardship due to an exceptional situation could receive an additional child care subsidy for the full amount of the daily fee for up to 100 hours a fortnight. This would be available to them for a maximum of 13 weeks.

 

  1. Transition to Work

This subsidy is available for a family currently receiving one of Parenting Payment, Newstart Allowance, Disability Support Pension or Youth Allowance income support and they have created a Job Plan as part of their Employment Pathway Plan.

They may be entitled to 95% of their daily fee for the number of hours in a fortnight that they meet the Activity Test for the Childcare Subsidy. This will continue for 12 weeks after starting work and their income support has ceased.

You can only access one of these payments at a time.

5. Free Ebook

If you would like more information on the new Child Care Subsidy, I have prepared The Child Care Subsidy Solution. A simple, straight forward FREE ebook that explains exactly what the new Subsidy is all about. You can download a copy by entering your details below.

Paid Parental Leave when you are self employed

Paid Parental Leave when you are Self Employed

I’m in A LOT of Facebook groups targeted to mums and also mums in business. Lately I’ve noticed an increase in questions relating to receiving your 18 weeks of Paid Parental Leave when you are self employed. Yes, you are definitely entitled to receive Paid Parental Leave if you are self employed.

The tests that you have to pass are exactly the same as if you were an employee but most of the information you read online seems to focus on employees. So here are answers to the most common questions.

1.How do you prove that you have met the Work Test?

The Work Test states that you must complete paid work for 330 hours over 10 months within the 13 month period before your due date/date of birth. This does not mean that your business has to make a profit or any money at all. You just need to have been working towards making a financial gain during this time. Volunteer work does not meet the Work Test.

So how do you show how much you have worked in the unlikely event that Centrelink ask you to prove your hours of work?

• Keep a detailed diary of hours worked. Write it down or use a spreadsheet and actually record each day of work and how many hours you spent working.
• If you bill by the hour, use your invoices to show the services provided
• If your clients book in a time to see you, show your schedule of bookings.
• Use your Tax Return or Financial Statements if your can you relate the amount or sales your business has to the number of hours that it takes to make a sale

2. What can you do in your business while receiving Paid Parental Leave?

You cannot perform paid work while you are receiving Paid Parental Leave. When you are self employed, the definition of paid work is where your purpose is to carry out work to make a profit. The only paid work that is allowed, and you can still get paid during this time, is to perform tasks where you are only overseeing the business, performing administrative tasks or other ad hoc activities to keep your business going.

These can include paying an account, checking the delivery of an order, arranging a repair or dealing with a dispute. Notice these examples are administrative as they don’t create a sale or income, which is how you should think about an activity that you want to perform in your business during this time. There is nothing to stop you employing someone else or even getting your mum to perform the tasks that will earn an income for your business.

3. What about ‘keeping in touch days?’

These don’t apply if you are on Paid Parental Leave when you are self employed. The legislation specifically refers to a keeping in touch day’ for people other than self employed. Also, these 10 days are not designed for employees to be performing their usual paid jobs but to keep up to date with training and meetings to help prepare them for a return to work.

4. Where to start?

I have created a free checklist that you can download to help you gather the information you will require when you sit down and prepare your application. Enter your details below and the PPL Checklist will be emailed to you.

As always, feel free to ask any questions.

Lisa

Download Making Sense of Paid Parental Leave  for $17. 

  • Get your application completed  all online.
  • Review the different tests and apply them to your situation.
  • Understand how it affects your tax.
  • Learn about  Dad & Partner Pay details.
  • Stops wanting to pull your hair out!