Six months of paid parental leave approved by Senate

Six months of paid parental leave approved by Senate

paid parental leave

The government’s expansion of paid parental leave to 26 weeks has passed the Senate today and will become law. 

It means from 1 July this year, more than 180,000 families will benefit from an extra two weeks of leave (22 weeks in total). This number will then increase to 24 weeks from July 2025 and 26 weeks from July 2026. 

The changes are designed to encourage families with two parents to share the care, with four weeks reserved for each parent.

It is the biggest boost to paid parental leave since the government-funded scheme was first introduced by Labor in 2011.

“This normalises paid parental leave as a workplace entitlement which is good for workplace retention and fosters gender-equitable workplaces,” Senator Malarndirri McCarthy told parliament today.

The changes passed the federal Senate today, with the government also promising $10 million in support for small businesses administering paid parental leave through their payroll systems. This came after independent senators David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie pushed for more support for SMEs.

What’s next?

With the changes to paid parental leave now approved, the next step for the government is to legislate its recent announcement that it will pay superannuation payments to those using the government-funded paid parental leave scheme.

This reform will come into play from 1 July 2025.

Paying superannuation on paid parental leave was a key recommendation of the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce. Further details on the government’s plan to pay super on paid parental leave, including its cost, will be released in the next budget.

The move to introduce super payments will help close the ‘gender super gap’, which sees women being much less financially secure at retirement age than men. 


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