New laws expand Paid Parental Leave – More support for working families with biggest expansion since 2011

Labor’s changes to Paid Parental Leave – expanding the scheme to a full six months – will now be law after the Paid Parental Leave Amendment (More Support for Working Families) Bill 2023 was today passed by the Senate.

That means new parents will be eligible for more Paid Parental Leave from 1 July this year with the passage of this historic legislation.

More than 180,000 families are expected to benefit from the expansion of the scheme each year with expecting parents able to pre-claim from March 26.

The bill delivers on the Government’s commitment to expand Paid Parental Leave to 26-weeks by 2026, as announced in the October 2022-23 Budget, and represents a $1.2 billion investment in the Paid Parental Leave scheme through to 2026-27.

From 1 July, two more weeks of payment will be added each year until the overall length of the Paid Parental Leave scheme reaches 26-weeks by July 2026.

The Bill increases the number of weeks reserved for each parent on a use it or lose it basis to four weeks in order to encourage greater sharing of care and household responsibilities. It also provides more flexibility by increasing the amount of leave that parents can take at the same time, from two to four weeks.

Expanding Paid Parental Leave to 26-weeks also complements the Government’s plan, announced earlier this month, to pay superannuation on Paid Parental Leave from 1 July 2025.

More information on the changes to the Paid Parental Leave scheme can be found on the Department of Social Services website.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“This is the biggest boost to Paid Parental Leave since it was created by the former Labor Government in 2011.

“Our policy will give families more leave and more flexibility, to ensure the system works in a way that’s best for them.

“A parental leave system that empowers the full and equal participation of women will be good for business, good for families and good for our economy.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth:

“The Government has made great strides to ensure the scheme is more accessible, flexible and gender equitable for Australian families.

“The face of the modern Australian family has changed significantly since the scheme was first introduced by Labor in 2011.

“Our changes ensure that the scheme will be able to better address the needs of working Australian families and provide greater security as they embark on this new chapter of their life with a newborn or adopted child.”