Legislation passed by federal Parliament today will give same-sex partners extra support to take time off work to bond with their new baby from January 1 2013.

The Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012 expands the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme to include Dad and
Partner Pay, a dedicated payment to give dads and same-sex partners financial support to stay at home for two weeks with their new baby.

“This is good for dads, it’s good for mums, and it helps give babies the best start in life,” Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin (pictured) said.

Dad and Partner Pay will be available to eligible fathers and parents in same-sex couples, including adopting parents. Eligible dads and same-sex partners will have access to two weeks’
Government-funded Dad and Partner Pay at the rate of the national minimum wage ($606 a week before tax).

“We thank the federal Government for recognising that all new parents, including those in same-sex relationships, can do with a little help when a new baby arrives,” Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich said.

“The need to bond with a newborn, and the financial stresses having a newborn can give rise to, are the same for all parents, regardless of their gender.”

Macklin said this new financial support will be especially important for fathers and same-sex partners who work in casual jobs without annual leave entitlements and the self-employed.

It will be available to full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers who have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) in 10 of the 13 months before the birth of their baby and who earned $150,000 or less in the previous financial year. To receive Dad and Partner Pay a person must be on unpaid leave or not working for that period.

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