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Guide to navigating Australia’s maternity leave system in 2023

Guide to navigating Australia’s maternity leave system in 2023
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Guide to navigating Australia’s maternity leave system in 2023

As of 2023, new laws have been introduced to the maternity leave support system in Australia. Here is a guide on how to navigate them.


New mothers are now entitled to:

  • 18 weeks of Paid Parental leave– this is at the minimum wage rate and is paid by the Australian Government
  • 12 months of parental leave – this is unpaid and is often provided by an employer
  • Up to 13 weeks of flexible working – with the option to work from home
  • Access to 18 weeks of Dad and Partner leave – If your partner is working


To be eligible for parental leave support in Australia, you must:

  • Be the primary carer of a child
  • Have worked for at least 10 of the 13 months before the birth of your child
  • Have worked for at least 330 hours in that 10 month period
  • Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, eligible work visa holder or hold a special category visa

How to apply

You can apply for parental leave support either online or by post. You will need to provide evidence such as your Universal Payment Card and evidence of your work history such as paystubs or tax records.

It is important to apply as soon as possible, as the timeframes for approval of your application can vary.

How long does it take to get approved?

Once your application for parental leave support has been approved, you will usually receive payment within 14 days.

However, the approval process can take anything from 10-12 weeks, so it is important to plan ahead and make sure your application is in as soon as possible.

Seeking advice

If you are unsure about the parental leave system or require more information, you can seek advice from your employer, your local Centrelink office, or the Department of Human Services Online.

It is also important to keep up to date with any changes to the parental leave system, as sometimes changes can take place without much notice.


Navigating the parental leave system in Australia can be complex and time consuming, but with the right information and support it can be done. Knowing your entitlements and eligibility requirements, and how to apply for support is the best way to ensure you get the most out of the system.

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