220.127.116.11 Activities Considered as 'Work' for PLP
Paid work includes work performed as an employee, including full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal or contract work, or through self-employment, where the person is engaged in some form of gainful activity for reward or financial gain. Financial reward or gain includes the provision of goods or services for hire or reward under a contract for services, carrying on a business, including as a partnership or enterprise, or working for a trust operating as a business. The fact that a business enterprise has not yet become profitable should not prevent the activity of operating the business from counting as work.
Paid work includes work for non-cash benefit, for example, the use of a car, employer contributions of rent on a home or to school fees. Qualifying work may include ongoing or non-going activities, or activities which may not universally be regarded as work for all purposes. For example, activities such as the following count as work for the PLP purposes:
- jury service,
- time spent as a full-time member of the armed services or as a Defence Reservist,
- work by prisoners in formal prisoner employment programs. The features of this work are that it is genuine employment in the community with a real employer, which attracts the same employment conditions as for other employees in the business,
- farm labour undertaken as part of exceptional circumstances relief payment,
- work at an Australian Disability Enterprise, and
- operating a business while receiving payments under the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.
Paid work does not include income earned for activities which essentially do not involve personal exertion, for example, passive income, such as income gained from interest or by holding a share portfolio.
Exceptions: If the person's principal business consists of lending money or the interest is received in relation to a debt due to the person for goods supplied or services rendered in the course of the person's business. The fact that a claimant has an ABN indicates that income is not being earned passively.
Activity which is in the nature of volunteering does not constitute paid work even if financially rewarded by honoraria, gratuities or similar payments.
Similarly any activity for which the only remuneration is receipt of a social security payment, as defined in SSAct section 23, is not paid work. For example, work for income support only, such as 'Work for the Dole', which is an approved program of work for income support payments, does not constitute qualifying work for PLP purposes.
Paid leave has its ordinary meaning, that is, it is leave taken from work on a day that the person would ordinarily be at work except for being absent on that day with pay. It would include, for example, paid recreation, carer's, sick, maternity or bereavement leave. Paid out leave on termination of a person's employment does not count as qualifying work because a person cannot take leave from their employment after that employment has terminated. For example, a payout of accrued annual leave where a person has resigned or has been made redundant is not paid leave from their employment and therefore does not count as qualifying work for PLP.
The PPL Rules also provide that a person is taken to be on paid leave where the person is on unpaid leave from their employer but is being paid the equivalent of wages by another source such as workers' compensation or accident compensation. The payment must be in respect of the person's employment, meaning that the payment must be made to compensate a person for an injury or illness suffered at, or as a consequence of, the person's employment. Where an employee is on paid leave from their employment or is absent from work and receiving worker's compensation, the employee's normal hours of work count as qualifying work for PLP purposes.
Act reference: PPLAct Part 2-3 Division 3 The work test
PPL Rules Subdivision 18.104.22.168 Paid leave
Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.1 PLP Eligibility Overview
Previous period of PLP and/or DAPP
From 1 March 2014 a person can also count the days in a previous period of PLP and/or DAPP (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim.
For children born or entrusted to care as part of an adoption process before 1 March 2014, a previous period of PLP and/or DAPP (for a previous child) cannot be counted as qualifying work for a new claim.
If a person is expecting a child on or after 1 March 2014, and the child is born prematurely before 1 March 2014, the claim will be assessed on the pre-1 March 2014 work test rules, i.e. they cannot count the days in their previous period of PLP and/or DAPP (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim.
Both PLP and DAPP periods that occur in the work test period can count as qualifying work for eligibility for either payment, for example, a person's previous PPL period that occurs in the work test period for a new DAPP claim for that person for a subsequent child may count as qualifying work for the PPL work test for the new claim and vice versa.
A PPL period will not count towards the work test for a DAPP claim for the same child because a person who meets the work test for PPL will also meet the work test for DAPP for that child. This also applies for a DAPP claim followed by a PPL claim for the same child.