New Dads Can Get Paid Leave From January 1
If you’re pregnant don’t be surprised if the dad pleads with you to hold on until New Years Day. From January 1, 2013, working dads and partners of the mother can get two weeks government-funded pay to give them time with new born babies.
Called Dad and Partner Pay, it is part of the federal government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme. The pay is two weeks at the rate of the national minimum wage – about $606 a week before tax.
Claims can be lodged by the father of the baby or the partner of the mother up to three months before the expected date of birth or adoption, or within 12 months after the birth.
Full-time, part-time, casual, contract, seasonal and self-employed workers are eligible. Those who have a taxable income more than $150,000 and those who already receive paid leave or are unemployed are not eligible.
The aim of the scheme is to provide an opportunity for self-employed, contractors and casual workers who generally don’t have paternity leave entitlements from an employer to have time to bond with their new born baby and help the primary carer – usually the mother – in a difficult time.
The scheme also applies to same sex couples and for adoptions after January 1.
It comes on top of the government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme that started in 2011 providing eligible new mothers up to 18 weeks paid leave at the national minimum wage to care for the newborn.
Details and applications are available through the Department of Human Services.
Also changing on January 1 is the length of time social security and family assistance benefits will be payable while recipients are outside Australia, dropping from 13 weeks to six.
Another change from January 1 is that we will no longer have registration stickers for our cars and light vehicles in NSW. For 80 years we’ve been scraping and cursing getting old rego stickers off our car windows. The NSW government reckons it will save $575,000 in annual printing costs, but don’t think that will be passed on to car owners. We’ll still have to pay rego and third party insurance fees. Instead of the labels, registrations will all be on computer. Don’t think you can drive around without paying rego. Police have automatic number plate recognition technology which will tell them immediately whether you’ve paid your rego or not.