MONEY MOVES TO MAKE
Money magazine’s Effie Zahos shares what you need to know before taking parental leave
1 DOUBLE DIPPING
Even if your employer offers paid maternity leave, you can also access the Government’s Paid Parental Leave. The so-called “doubledipping” law wasn’t passed, so technically you can get both. How much leave and pay entitlement you get from your employer comes down to your employment contract. The Paid Parental Leave scheme, which is fully government funded, is paid for a maximum period of 18 weeks at $719.20 a week before tax (the national minimum wage). Parental Leave Pay can only be taken by one parent at a time, but if you go back to work and you haven’t used the full 18 weeks of leave, your partner can take the rest of the leave if they become the primary carer and are eligible.
2 DAD & PARTNER PAY
Eligible working dads and partners (including same-sex partners) get two weeks’ leave paid at the national minimum wage ($719.20 a week). To be eligible for this scheme, you can’t work or take paid leave during your two-week Dad and Partner Pay period. If you plan on transferring your Parental Leave Pay to the same person who is claiming DAP, then the maximum payment period is capped at 18 weeks.
3 SUPER INCENTIVE
Unfortunately superannuation isn’t paid on parental leave payments. There’s a cost in taking career breaks and this certainly doesn’t help with the super gender gap. While there are several things you can do to keep your super growing while you’re on parental leave – get your spouse to contribute or make extra payments when you return to work – it would be worth talking to your
employer first. It may be tricky to negotiate, but ask if they’d still make super guarantee payments while you’re on leave. Some of the more progressive companies are offering this as an incentive to return to work. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
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