2.2.1.30 Flexible PPL

Eligibility

For children born on or after 1 July 2020, primary carers (and other claimants in limited cases) can be eligible to receive 2 components of PLP.

The first component is an initial period of 12 weeks called the PPL period (2.2.1.20).

The second component is flexible PPL, which occurs in a person's flexible PPL period. Days claimed during this period are called flexible PPL days. Eligible claimants can claim up to 30 flexible days during the flexible PPL period, which starts the day after their PPL period ends and ends the day before the child's second birthday or anniversary of adoption to care.

An effective claim for PLP must have been made before the child turns one in order for a person to claim for flexible PPL days during the flexible PPL period. Unlike the PPL period, flexible PPL days may be claimed on days that fall on weekends and up until the child turns 2.

Parents can claim up to 30 flexible PPL days immediately following the end of an individual's PPL period that only occur on weekdays. Functionally, they are taking 18 continuous weeks of PLP. Any flexible PPL days claimed immediately following the end of a PPL period are taken to be in a continuous flexible period, as long as no weekend days have been claimed. In this situation, the employer will generally pay up to 18 continuous weeks, even though this period is made up of a 12-week PPL period and 30 flexible PPL days immediately after the PPL period.

Primary claimants can also give permission (6.2.3.50) for individuals to make secondary claims for PLP for flexible PPL days for the child.

Alternatively, parents might decide that they want to use PLP in the flexible PPL period to support a gradual return to work.

Example: Jane works 5 days per week and has a child. She initially claims 12 weeks, i.e. she claims for her PPL period. Jane returns to work and enters into an agreement to work 3 days per week. In that case, Jane can apply to be paid flexible PPL on the 2 days per week that she is not working for up to 15 weeks. In this way, the flexible PPL system will support Jane to balance parental responsibilities with returning to work.

There are many other ways to use the 30 days of PLP in the flexible PPL period. It is expected that parents will use the flexible arrangements to support whatever approach works best for them. Centrelink will pay for flexible PPL days taken during the flexible PPL period, which are not in a continuous period.

Example: If Jane's employer is paying her instalments of PLP during her PPL period, then her employer will stop making payments when Jane returns to work part-time. Instead, Centrelink will pay Jane directly for the 2 flexible PPL days per week she is claiming PLP. This is to avoid putting an additional, unnecessary regulatory burden on employers.

Ultimately, whether it is Jane's employer or Centrelink who makes the payment, the PPL scheme is fully funded by the Commonwealth, and not employers.

Act reference: PPLAct section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.1.20 PPL period, 6.2.3.50 Permission to claim flexible PPL days

Last reviewed: 21 September 2020