5.2.10 Collection from Parental Leave Payments


The Registrar can collect a payer's child support and spousal maintenance payments by making deductions from parental leave pay payable to that person (section 72AD).

Act references

CSRC Act section 72AD

PPLAct section 69


From 1 January 2011 parents (natural and adoptive) who have been working and have given birth to a child or adopted a child, may be eligible to receive parental leave payments for a period of 18 weeks. The amount of the payment is at the rate of the National Minimum Wage. The payment is paid by either the parent's employer or Centrelink.

The Registrar can give written notice to Centrelink to deduct an amount from a parent's parental leave pay to collect the parent's child support or spousal maintenance debt (section 72AD).

If payments are paid by the employer, the Registrar can collect by applying employer withholding (5.2.3), or by issuing a section 72A notice (5.2.9) if employer withholding is not appropriate.

Section 69 of the PPLAct enables Centrelink to comply with the notice and forward the amounts to the Registrar.

When can deductions be made from parental leave pay?

CSRC Act section 72AD deductions can be made in the following circumstances:

  • payers with an ongoing liability arising out of a child support assessment, a court order, a court registered maintenance agreement, or collection agency maintenance liability,
  • payers with ongoing liabilities arising under a spousal maintenance order or overseas maintenance liabilities,
  • payers who have an outstanding debt under a parentage overpayment order that is registered for collection by the Registrar,
  • payers with arrears (i.e. amounts that were not paid when they fell due and payable), or
  • payers with debts to consolidated revenue which are still debts to the Commonwealth under section 30.

CSRC Act section 72AD cannot be used to collect:

  • late payment penalties,
  • estimate penalties, or
  • payee debts to the Commonwealth under CSRC Act section 79.

Issuing the Notice

The Registrar starts deductions from a payer's parental leave pay by giving Centrelink a written notice specifying:

  • the payer's name,
  • sufficient detail to enable Centrelink to identify the person, and
  • instructions to make fortnightly deductions of a specified amount from a specified day. The specified amount can be for an ongoing liability, or for an ongoing liability and arrears.

The Registrar is not required to give the payer a copy of the notice.

How much can be deducted

Centrelink cannot deduct the full specified periodic deduction from a payer's parental leave pay if that would leave the payer with less than the 'protected earnings amount' (CSRC Act sections 72AD(3) and 72AD(4)).

WA ex-nuptial cases

The provisions described in this chapter apply to WA ex-nuptial cases.

See 1.4.2 for details of the date from which various provisions had effect for WA ex-nuptial cases.

Last reviewed: 15 August 2016