The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

5.2.10 Collection from parental leave payment


The Registrar can collect a payer's child support and spousal maintenance payments by making deductions from PLP payable to that person. The Registrar can also collect a carer debt or child support debt by making deductions from PLP payable to that person.

More information on PLP is available in the Paid Parental Leave Guide.

Act references

CSRC Act section 30, section 69B, section 72AD

PPLAct section 69


The Registrar can give written notice to Centrelink to deduct an amount from a parent's PLP to collect the parent's enforceable maintenance liability, child support debt or carer liability (CSRC Act 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. Centrelink will comply with the notice and forward the amounts to the Registrar (PPL Act section 69).

When can deductions be made from parental leave pay?

Deductions from PLP can be made from (CSRC Act section 72AD):

  • payers of an enforceable maintenance liability (5.1.2)
  • payers of child support debts that were not paid when they fell due and payable, or
  • payers of a carer debt (overpayment) (5.5.5).

Deductions from PLP cannot be used to collect (CSRC Act section 72AD):

  • late payment penalties (5.1.6), or
  • estimate penalties (2.5.1).

Issuing the Notice

To initiate making deductions from a payer's PLP, the Registrar must issue a written notice to the Chief Executive Officer of Services Australia, 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, an ongoing liability and arrears, or carer debt.

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 PLP if that would leave the payer with less than the 'protected earnings amount' (5.2.4) (CSRC Act sections 72AD(3) and 72AD(4)).

Last reviewed: