Changes to Paid Parental Leave scheme in Australia

The Importance of Supporting Families: Addressing Australia’s Low Birth Rates

In recent years, Australia has been grappling with declining birth rates, prompting a pressing need to support families in starting and growing. Government policies play a crucial role in providing this support, ensuring that parents have the financial security and time necessary to bond with their newborns and adapt to their new roles. One such policy undergoing significant changes is Australia’s Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme, designed to enhance support for working families. Understanding these changes is vital for both employees and employers to navigate the evolving landscape of parental leave in Australia.

So, what is changing?

The Australian Government has announced substantial amendments to the Paid Parental Leave scheme, set to roll out over the next few years. These changes aim to provide more comprehensive support to parents, encouraging greater participation in caregiving roles and enhancing financial security during parental leave. Yah. About time we say.

Key Changes and Implementation Timeline

Introduction of Superannuation Contributions (Effective July 2025)

  • Starting from July 2025, eligible parents will receive an additional 12% of their government-funded Paid Parental Leave as a contribution to their superannuation fund. This initiative aims to address the long-term financial impact of career breaks on retirement savings, particularly benefiting women who often take extended leave for child-rearing.

Incremental Increase in Paid Parental Leave Duration (July 2024 – July 2026)

  • The Paid Parental Leave scheme will gradually increase from the current 20 weeks to 26 weeks by July 2026. The incremental addition of two weeks per year starting from July 2024 allows families to plan and adjust to the extended leave duration.
  • Notably, four weeks will be reserved for each parent on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis by 2026. This change encourages both parents to share caregiving responsibilities, promoting gender equality in the workplace and at home.

Enhanced Flexibility for Concurrent Leave (Effective July 2026)

  • From July 2026, parents will be able to take up to four weeks of Paid Parental Leave concurrently. This adjustment supports parents in spending more time together during the critical early stages of their child’s life, fostering stronger family bonds and shared experiences.

Practical Tips for Navigating the New Parental Leave Changes

For Employees

Plan Ahead

  • With the incremental increase in leave duration, it’s essential to plan your career and family goals in advance.
  • Discuss your leave plans with your employer early to ensure a smooth transition and adequate coverage during your absence.

Understand Your Superannuation Benefits

  • Familiarise yourself with how the additional superannuation contributions will be managed.
  • Consider consulting a financial advisor to maximise the benefits of these contributions and secure your financial future.

Encourage Shared Caregiving

  • Leverage the ‘use it or lose it’ weeks reserved for each parent to encourage shared caregiving responsibilities. This approach not only benefits your family dynamic but also promotes gender equality in the workplace.

For Employers

Update Company Policies

  • Ensure that your company’s parental leave policies are updated to reflect the new changes.
  • Communicate these updates clearly to all employees, emphasizing the benefits and support available to them.

Support Flexible Work Arrangements

  • As more parents take advantage of concurrent leave, consider offering flexible work arrangements to accommodate their needs. This support can include part-time options, remote work, or staggered return-to-work plans.

Promote a Family-Friendly Culture

  • Foster a workplace culture that values and supports families. Encourage open discussions about parental leave, provide resources for new parents, and celebrate the diverse caregiving roles within your organization.


The upcoming changes to Australia’s Paid Parental Leave scheme mark a significant step towards better supporting working families. By understanding these changes and implementing practical strategies, both employees and employers can navigate this evolving landscape effectively. As Australia continues to address its low birth rates, these enhancements in parental leave policies play a pivotal role in fostering a supportive environment for families to thrive.

For more detailed information on the changes to the Paid Parental Leave scheme, visit the Department of Social Services website or Fair Work Australia.

If you need support to update your policies, then reach out.

Written by Emily Jaksch

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