2.2.1.10 PLP core eligibility requirements

Primary claimant - core requirements

A person who is a birth mother or an initial primary carer adoptive parent may be eligible as a primary claimant for PLP if:

  • they satisfy the work, income and residency tests, and
  • they are the primary carer of their newborn or recently adopted child, and
  • for a PPL period, they satisfy the requirement to not return to work (i.e. they are on leave or not working) from the time they become their child's primary carer until the end of their PPL period,
  • for a flexible PPL day, they are performing no more than an hour of paid work other than for a permissible purpose on the day, and
  • neither they nor their partner (or their former partner when they were a couple) has been paid PLP for the child, and
  • they are not subject to the NARWP (1.1.N.70) (Note: The NARWP for PLP applies to people granted a permanent visa or relevant temporary visa on or after 1 January 2019. The NARWP for PLP does not apply to a person in respect of a child who is born or adopted either before 1 January 2019 or in the 6 months from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019. There are a range of other exemptions and situations where the NARWP does not apply (2.2.4.30)).

Act reference: PPLAct section 21 PLP is already payable to the person etc., section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31(6) Not eligible-newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 31A Newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) Act 2018 Schedule 4 item 6 Application provision

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.1.20 PPL period, 2.2.1.30 Flexible PPL, 2.2.2 PPL scheme work test for PLP, 2.2.2.40 Activities considered as 'work' for PLP, 2.2.3 PPL scheme income test for PLP, 2.2.4 PPL scheme Australian residency test & absences from Australia for PLP, 2.2.4.30 NARWP for PLP & DAPP, 2.2.5 Who is a primary carer for PLP?, 2.2.13 Return to work & when paid work is for a permissible purpose for PLP

Birth mother primary claimants - exceptions & additions to the core requirements

A birth mother whose child is stillborn or dies may be eligible as a primary claimant for PLP if she meets the core primary claimant requirements above with the following exceptions:

  • she would meet the primary carer test except that her child was stillborn or has died, and
  • she is not required to be on leave or not working.

A birth mother who is unable to meet the work test due to a premature birth or pregnancy-related illness or complications, may be eligible as a primary claimant for PLP if:

  • she meets the core primary claimant requirements above, and
  • Centrelink is satisfied that she would have met the work test but for the premature birth or pregnancy-related illness or complications.

A birth mother who relinquishes their child in a surrogacy or adoption arrangement, or a birth mother whose child was removed from their care by a state or territory child protection agency or in accordance with a decision of a court of a state or territory, may be an eligible primary claimant for PLP for the purpose of maternal recovery if she meets the core primary claimant requirements above. The following restriction and exemption apply:

  • PLP will only be payable in the first 18 weeks following the birth (for the maximum entitlement, claimants will be required to claim PLP as a continuous period of 18 weeks, made up of a 12-week PPL period and 30 continuous weekdays of flexible PPL), and
  • if the child is stillborn or dies, the birth mother is not required to be on leave or not working to be eligible for PLP on a day.

Act reference: PPLAct section 11 The determination must specify the person's PPL period, section 14 Determination on primary and secondary claims made jointly-claimants sharing PLP, section 15 Determination on primary and secondary claims made jointly-secondary claimant to get all the PLP, section 16 Determination on a secondary claim made after the primary claim, Part 2-1 Division 3 When PLP for a flexible PPL day for a child is payable to a person, section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 36A Premature birth or pregnancy-related complications or illness, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.10 Who is a primary claimant for PLP?, 2.2.2 PPL scheme work test for PLP, 2.2.8 Person no longer primary carer - PLP remains payable

General primary claimant exceptions & additions to the core requirements

A birth mother or an initial primary carer adoptive parent may be eligible as a primary claimant for PLP if they satisfy the core primary claimant requirements with the following exceptions:

  • they are not the primary carer of the child because
    • they are temporarily unable to care (1.1.T.50) for their child, or
    • they have lost care of their child (1.1.L.30) without their consent
  • they do not meet the requirement not to return to work (for a PPL period) or not to be working on the day (for a flexible PPL day), because they
    • have returned to work (1.1.R.50) while their child was in hospital following birth, or
    • have lost care of their child without their consent, or
    • are a defence force member or a law enforcement officer and they have been compulsorily recalled to duty (1.1.R.05), or
    • returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency and they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker (1.1.E.95).

Act reference: PPLAct section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.8 Person no longer primary carer - PLP remains payable

Primary claimant in exceptional circumstances - partner of the birth mother or initial primary carer adoptive parent, or the other parent or their partner

A parent, or partner of a parent of the child can claim PLP as a primary claimant in exceptional circumstances if:

  • the child is in their care and has been, or is likely to be, in that care for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, and
  • they became or are likely to become the primary carer of the child before the child's first birthday or before the first anniversary of the day of placement of the child for adoption, and
  • either
    • the birth mother or the adoptive parents are incapable of caring for the child and have been or are likely to be incapable of caring for the child (1.1.I.05) for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, or
    • Centrelink is satisfied on reasonable grounds that
      • the person became the primary carer of the child in special circumstances, and
      • it would be unreasonable for the birth mother or the adoptive parents of the child to care for the child, and
      • taking into account the arrangements for the child's care with the person in comparison with those in the child's previous family situation, it is in the interests of the child for the person to care for the child.

A parent or partner of a parent of the child may be eligible as a primary claimant for PLP if they satisfy the core primary claimant requirements with the following exceptions:

  • they are not the primary carer of the child because
    • they are temporarily unable to care for the child, or
    • they have lost care of the child without their consent
  • they do not meet the requirement not to return to work (for a PPL period) or not to be working on the day (for a flexible PPL day) because they
    • have lost care of the child without their consent, or
    • are a defence force member or a law enforcement officer and they have been compulsorily recalled to duty, or
    • have performed work because they have had to comply with the requirements of a summons or other compulsory process to give evidence or information, or produce documents or other things, or
    • returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency and they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker.

Act reference: PPLAct section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP, Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.10 Who is a primary claimant for PLP?

Primary claimant in exceptional circumstances - no specified relationship with the child

A person who is not a parent, or partner of a parent of the child can claim PLP as a primary claimant in exceptional circumstances if:

  • the child is in the care of the person and has been, or is likely to be, in that care for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, and
  • they became or is likely to become the primary carer of the child before the child's first birthday or before the first anniversary of the day of placement of the child for adoption, and
  • either
    • the birth mother or adoptive parents of the child are incapable of caring for the child and have been or are likely to be incapable of caring for the child for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, or
    • Centrelink is satisfied on reasonable grounds that
      • the person became the primary carer of the child in special circumstances
      • it would be unreasonable for the birth mother or adoptive parents of the child to care for the child, and
      • taking into account the arrangements for the child's care with the person in comparison with those in the child's previous family situation, it is in the interests of the child for the person to care for the child, and
  • the following apply
    • the partner of the birth mother or the partner of the adoptive parent/s of the child is incapable of caring for the child, and
    • on the day the child came into the care of the person, the child was not entrusted to the care of the person or the care of the person's partner under state or territory child protection legislation, and
    • Centrelink is satisfied on reasonable grounds that
      • the person became the primary carer of the child in special circumstances, and
      • it would be unreasonable for the partner of the birth mother or of the adoptive parents of the child to care for the child, and
      • taking into account the arrangements for the child's care with the person in comparison with those in the child's previous family situation, it is in the interests for the person to care for the child.

A person who is not a parent, or partner of a parent of the child may be eligible as a primary claimant for PLP if they satisfy the core primary claimant requirements with the following exceptions:

  • they are not the primary carer of the child because
    • they are temporarily unable to care for the child, or
    • they have lost care of the child without their consent
  • they do not meet the requirement not to return to work (for a PPL period) or not to be working on the day (for a flexible PPL day) because they
    • have lost care of the child without their consent, or
    • are a defence force member or a law enforcement officer and they have been compulsorily recalled to duty, or
    • have performed work because they have had to comply with the requirements of a summons or other compulsory process to give evidence or information, or produce documents or other things, or
    • returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency and they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker.

Act reference: PPLAct section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP, Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.10 Who is a primary claimant for PLP?

Primary claimant in exceptional circumstances - surrogacy arrangements

A person who is the primary carer of a child born because of a surrogacy arrangement may be eligible for PLP if they meet the core primary claimant requirements above. They can claim PLP as a primary claimant in exceptional circumstances if:

  • the child is in the care of the person and has been, or is likely to be, in that care for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, and
  • they became, or are likely to become, the child's primary carer before the child's first birthday, and
  • Centrelink is satisfied that it is in the interests of the child for the person to care for the child, taking into account
    • whether the person intends to be the long term primary carer of the child
    • whether the birth mother has relinquished care of the child, and
    • any other relevant matter.

Matters to consider when working out whether the child was born because of a surrogacy arrangement include:

  • whether the child was born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement (however described) that meets the requirements of the law of a state or territory that applies in relation to the surrogacy arrangement, and
  • whether a court has made an order relating to who is a parent of the child.

Note: This requirement applies to every primary carer of a child who is born in a surrogacy arrangement who is a primary claimant for PLP.

Act reference: PPLAct section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

PPL Rules Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.10 Who is a primary claimant for PLP?

Secondary claimant

A person may be payable as a secondary claimant for PLP in relation to a PPL period if the primary claimant has not taken some or all of the maximum PPL period for the child; the person submits an effective claim for PLP; and the person becomes the primary carer of the child and is otherwise eligible to receive the unused PLP.

A person may be payable as a secondary claimant for flexible PPL days if the primary claimant has not taken some or all of their flexible PPL days, the primary claimant has given permission for a secondary claimant to claim a number of flexible days; the secondary claimant makes an effective claim for those flexible PPL days; and the person is eligible for PLP on those days.

Secondary claimant in normal circumstances

A person who is the partner of the primary claimant or who is the child's other legal parent or their partner, may be eligible as a secondary claimant for PLP in relation to the maximum PPL period for the child if:

  • they satisfy the work, income and residency tests, and
  • they became the primary carer of the child the day after the end of the primary claimant's PPL period, and
  • they have not returned to work between becoming the child's primary carer and the end of their PPL period, and
  • their partner has not received PLP for the child (other than as a primary claimant to which the person's secondary claim relates), and
  • a former partner was not paid PLP for the child when he or she was the person's partner (other than as a primary claimant to which the person's secondary claim relates), and
  • they are not subject to the NARWP.

A person who is the partner of the primary claimant or who is the child's other legal parent or their partner, may be eligible as a secondary claimant for flexible PPL days if:

  • they satisfy the work, income and residency tests, and
  • they are the primary carer of the child on the flexible PPL they have claimed, and
  • they are not working on the flexible PPL day they have claimed, and
  • they are not subject to the NARWP on the flexible PPL day they have claimed.

The following exceptions may apply to the above secondary claimant requirements:

  • they are not the primary carer of the child because
    • they are temporarily unable to care for the child, or
    • they have lost care of the child without consent
  • they do not meet the requirement not to return to work (for a PPL period) or not to be working on the day (for a flexible PPL day) because they
    • have returned to work while their child was in hospital following birth, or
    • have lost care of the child without consent, or
    • are a defence force member or a law enforcement officer and they have been compulsorily recalled to duty, or
    • have performed work because they have had to comply with the requirements of a summons or other compulsory process to give evidence or information, or produce documents or other things, or
    • returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency and they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker.

Act reference: PPLAct section 21 PLP is already payable to the person etc., section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31(6) Not eligible-newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 31A Newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP, Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.11 Who is a secondary claimant for PLP?

Secondary claimant in exceptional circumstances

A person who is the partner of the primary claimant can claim PLP as a secondary claimant in exceptional circumstances if:

  • the child is in the care of the person and has been, or is likely to be, in that care for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, and
  • on the day the child came into the care of the person, the child was not entrusted to the care of the person or their partner under a decision by a child protection agency, or by a court of a state or territory, under a law dealing with child protection, and
  • the primary claimant is incapable of caring for the child and has been, or is likely to be, incapable of caring for the child for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks.

A person who is not the partner of the primary claimant can claim PLP as a secondary claimant in exceptional circumstances if:

  • the child is in the care of the person and has been, or is likely to be, in that care for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, and
  • on the day the child came into the care of the person, the child was not entrusted to the care of the person or their partner under a decision by a child protection agency, or by a court of a state or territory, under a law dealing with child protection, and
  • either
    • the primary claimant and their partner are incapable of caring for the child and have been, or are likely to be, incapable of caring for the child for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, or
    • Centrelink is satisfied that
      • the person became the primary carer in special circumstances, and
      • it would be unreasonable for the primary carer or their partner to care for the child, and
      • taking into account the arrangements for the child's care with the person in comparison with those in the child's pervious family situation, it is in the interests of the child for the person to care for the child.

A person who makes a claim as a secondary claimant in exceptional circumstances may be eligible for PLP in relation to the PPL period if they:

  • satisfy the residency test
  • become the primary carer of the child the day after the end of primary claimant's PPL period
  • have not returned to work between becoming the primary carer of the child and the end of their PPL period
  • are not subject to the NARWP during their PPL period.

A person who makes a claim as a secondary claimant in exceptional circumstances may be eligible for a flexible PPL day if they:

  • satisfy the residency test
  • are the primary carer of the child on the day
  • are not performing paid work on the day, and
  • are not subject to a NARWP on the day.

The following exceptions may apply to the above secondary claimant in exceptional circumstances requirements:

  • they are not the primary carer of the child because
    • they are temporarily unable to care for the child, or
    • they have lost care of the child without their consent
  • they do not meet the requirement not to return to work (for a PPL period) or not to be working on the day (for a flexible PPL day) because they
    • have lost care of the child without their consent, or
    • are a defence force member or a law enforcement officer and they have been compulsorily recalled to duty, or
    • have performed work because they have had to comply with the requirements of a summons or other compulsory process to give evidence or information, or produce documents or other things, or
    • returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency and they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker, or
    • performed paid work while they were making arrangements in relation to work and care for the child (1.1.T.100).

Act reference: PPLAct section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31A Newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP, Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.11 Who is a secondary claimant for PLP?

Tertiary claimant in exceptional circumstances

A person can claim PLP as a tertiary claimant if:

  • the child is in the care of the person and has ben, or is likely to be, in that care for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, and
  • on the day the child came into the care of the person, the child was not entrusted to the care of the person or their partner under a decision by a child protection agency, or by a court of a state or territory, under a law dealing with child protection, and
  • if the person had previously been the primary claimant for the child, either
    • the secondary claimant had care of the child in exceptional circumstances and those circumstances have ceased to apply, or
    • the secondary claimant is incapable of caring for the child and has been, or is likely to be, incapable of caring for the child for a continuous period at least 26 weeks, and
  • if the person has not previously been the primary claimant for the child, either:
    • the primary claimant and secondary claimant are incapable of caring for the child and have been, or are likely to be, incapable of caring for the child for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks, or
    • Centrelink is satisfied on reasonable grounds that
      • the person became the primary carer of the child in special circumstances
      • it would be unreasonable for the primary claimant and for the secondary claimant to care for the child, and
      • taking into account the arrangements for the child's care with the person in comparison with those in the child's pervious family situation, it is in the interests of the child for the person to care for the child.

A person may be eligible as a tertiary claimant for PLP in relation to a PPL period if they:

  • satisfy the residency test, and
  • are the primary carer of the child until the end of their PPL period, and
  • have not returned to work between becoming the child's primary carer and the end of their PPL period, and
  • are not subject to the NARWP.

A person may be eligible as a tertiary claimant for PLP on a flexible PPL day if they:

  • satisfy the residency test
  • are the primary carer of the child on the day
  • are not performing paid work on the day, and
  • are not subject to a NARWP on the day.

The following exceptions may apply to these requirements:

  • they are not the primary carer of the child because
    • they are temporarily unable to care for the child, or
    • they have lost care of the child without their consent, and
  • they do not meet the requirement not to return to work (for a PPL period) or not to be working on the day (for a flexible PPL day) because they
    • have lost care of the child without their consent
    • are a defence force member or a law enforcement officer and they have been compulsorily recalled to duty, or
    • have performed work because they have had to comply with the requirements of a summons or other compulsory process to give evidence or information, or produce documents or other things, or
    • returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency and they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker, or
    • performed paid work while they were making arrangements in relation to work and care for the child .

Note 1: An eligible adoptive parent or a commissioning parent in a surrogacy may receive the full 18 weeks of PLP, made up of a 12-week PPL period and 30 days of flexible PPL, even where PLP is being paid or has already been paid to another eligible person (e.g. the birth mother).

Note 2: An eligible person who takes on care of a child in exceptional circumstances in the first year following birth or placement may receive the full 18 weeks of PLP, made up of a 12-week PPL period and 30 days of flexible PPL, even if PLP has been paid to another person another person (e.g. the birth mother).

Note 3: A PPL period must be received in one continuous 12-week period, including when it is transferred from the primary claimant to the secondary claimant (the child's new primary carer). A person's remaining 30 days of flexible PPL can transferred from primary to the secondary claimant and taken any time up to the child's second birthday or anniversary of adoption to care. The PPL period cannot be shared between 2 primary carers concurrently. However, flexible PPL days may continue to be paid to 2 eligible carers for individual days so long as they are not claiming for the same day.

Note 4: Claimants can receive PLP concurrently with employer-provided paid leave (e.g. recreation leave, employer provided parental leave) and unpaid parental leave.

Note 5: Newly arrived residents are exempt from the NARWP if they have a baby (or adopt a child) before 1 January 2019 or between 1 January and 30 June 2019. There are a number of other exemptions to the NARWP (2.2.4.30).

Act reference: PPLAct section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31A Newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim, Part 2-3 Eligibility for PLP, Part 2-4 Claims for PLP

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) Act 2018 Schedule 4 item 6 Application provision

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP, Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.2.40 Activities considered as 'work' for PLP 2.2 PLP eligibility, 2.2.4.30 NARWP for PLP & DAPP, 2.2.12 Who is a tertiary claimant for PLP?

Last reviewed: 10 May 2021