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Parental Leave in Australia

Looking to hire an employee in Australia? Here’s what you need to know about parental leave. One of our clients had an employee on assignment in Australia and they had questions about parental leave. Parental leave usually applies to the father of a child and differs from maternal leave for the mother.

All types of leave are spelled out in the Fair Work Act, and there are really two different categories of parental leave under the FWA.  In short, it depends on the type of visa an employee has and their residency status.

In this case, the employee was a father with a newborn child, and naturally wanted to take some time off.  He had a Subclass 457 visa which is the Australian work visa for foreign workers on assignment, which limited his access to paid parental leave, but still allowed him to take time off.

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1.    Parental Leave on a 457 Visa

Under the FWA the employee can take parental leave, but it would be unpaid.  This applies to situations where there is a newborn, or adoption of a child under 16 years old.  The leave can be taken starting the day of birth or adoption, for up to 12 months.

2.    Parental Leave for Non-457 Employees

Other types of employees such as Australian citizens or permanent residents, New Zealand Special Category visa holders or temporary partner visa holders, qualify for different entitlements.  Known as the “Dad and Partner Pay” (which includes same sex partners) the employee can receive up to 2 weeks of paid leave at the national minimum wage, in addition to the normal leave duration entitlement.

These payments are made directly to the employee and can even be claimed online.  Unfortunately, our client’s employee would not qualify for paid leave with their 457 visa, so we informed them of the situation.

3.    The Shield GEO Solution

This is another example of how Shield GEO supports our clients and their employees on assignment, by keeping them current with all employment related rules such as leave, withholding, work permits and payroll structure.  We make sure that your employees are in full compliance through our local employer of record and in country experts.  We make international employment simple for multinationals and their HR departments with staff on assignment.

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