Single parents will now be able to access the full 20 weeks of paid parental leave, under changes to the scheme announced in the federal budget.

The 2022/23 budget unveiled changes to the paid parental leave scheme, which would expand eligibility for the program.

Enhanced paid parental leave will provide up to 20 weeks of flexible leave for eligible working families.

The changes would mean eligible single parents would be able to access an additional two weeks of paid parental leave.

The federal government will provide $346.1 million over five years to improve the paid parental leave scheme.

The scheme will be changed by rolling the Dad and Partner Pay into Parental Leave Pay to create a single scheme.

The paid parental leave can be taken within two years of the birth or adoption of the child.

It’s estimated 180,000 new parents access the paid parental leave scheme each year.

The budget papers say the changes to the scheme would not result in any existing people who are on the scheme being worse off under the changes.

A further $19.4 million has been set aside over five years to set up a new grant round of the community child care fund.

The fund is used to help set up new child care services in rural, remote and regional areas where child care services are limited.

It’s forecast $11 billion will be spent on child care during 2022/23, with $10.7 billion coming from the child care subsidy.

Flood-affected childcare centres will also receive a boost from the budget, with $22.1 million over two years to increase the community child care fund.


Andrew Brown
(Australian Associated Press)