2.2.2.20 Work test for PLP

Introduction

The claimant must establish that they have or had a genuine attachment to the labour force to be eligible for PLP.

PPL work test period

The work test period (1.1.W.40) for the work test is the 392 day period (i.e. a period of approximately 13 months) prior to the expected or actual DOB or placement of the child for adoption, or the date the person became the primary carer of the child.

For the purposes of making an initial eligibility determination (a pre-birth claim), the primary claimant's eligibility in relation to the work test is established by examining the work performed within the 392 day period prior to the expected DOB or adoption.

For the purposes of making an eligibility determination (where the decision is made after birth), the primary claimant's work test period is established by examining the work performed within the 392 day period prior to the child's actual DOB or placement of the child for adoption. If the primary claimant is unable to meet the work test on this basis and the child was born or placed after the expected DOB or placement, the work test may be applied to the 392 days prior to the expected DOB or placement. The work test period for a primary claimant in exceptional circumstances or a secondary claimant commences 392 days prior to the day the claimant became the primary carer of the child (note for secondary claimants this is the first time they become primary carer of the child).

If the Secretary is satisfied that the primary or secondary claimant meets the work test requirements on the day the eligibility determination is made, then a claimant is conditionally eligible for a flexible PPL day for the child.

For a birth mother who does not meet the work test because they ceased work due to hazards connected to their work that posed a risk to their pregnancy, the work test period will be the 392 days prior to the day the claimant is no longer performing work in the hazardous job (2.2.2.25).

Qualifying period

For the purposes of the work test, a qualifying period is a period of 295 consecutive days (approximately 10 months) in a person's 392 day (approximately 13 month) work test period that are days:

  • on which the person has performed qualifying work (2.2.2.40), or
  • that fall within a permissible break (2.2.2.50).

Days on which a person has not performed qualifying work that do not fall within a permissible break cannot be considered when calculating if the person has a 295 consecutive day qualifying period.

Qualifying work

In addition to meeting the requirements of the 295 day qualifying period, a person must have performed at least 330 hours of qualifying work within the qualifying period.

A person performs qualifying work on a day if they perform at least one hour of paid work on the day or if they take a period of paid leave of at least one hour on a day.

It is not necessary for work to have been performed with a single employer. Work performed with more than one employer in the work test period may count towards the work test. From 1 March 2014, a person can count the days in a previous PLP and/or DAPP period (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim. From 1 July 2020, a person can also count flexible PPL days (1.1.F.70) claimed (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim.

Both PLP and DAPP days or 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 and any flexible PPL days that occurred in the work test period for a new DAPP claim, may count as qualifying work for the DAPP work test for the new claim and vice versa, for a subsequent child.

A PPL period and any flexible PPL days will not count towards the work test for a DAPP claim for the same child because a person who meets the work test for PLP will also meet the work test for DAPP for that child. Similarly, a DAPP period will not count towards the work test for a PLP claim for the same child.

From 30 March 2020, jobkeeper payment can count as qualifying work for the purposes of the work test for PLP or DAPP.

Hours of qualifying work on a day in a PPL or DAPP period

For children born or entrusted to care as part of an adoption process, a person can count the days in their previous PLP and/or DAPP periods (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim. From 1 July 2020, any previous flexible PPL days (for a previous child) can also count as qualifying work for a new claim.

If a person did not perform paid work or take paid leave during their PLP or DAPP period for a previous child, the hours of work the person is taken to have performed on that day is:

  • 7.6 if the day is a weekday, and
  • no hours if the day is a Saturday or Sunday.

If a person did not perform paid work or take paid leave during a flexible PPL day for a previous child, the person is taken to have performed 7.6 hours of work on that day, including weekends.

If a person performed at least one hour of paid work on a day during their PLP or DAPP period for a previous child (where a person takes PLP or DAPP at the same time as performing work for a permissible purpose (1.1.P.140)), the hours of work the person is taken to have performed on that day is the greater of:

  • 7.6 hours of PLP and/or DAPP if the day is a weekday, and
  • the actual number of hours of paid work performed by the person on that day.

Example: A person may have performed 2 hours of paid work for a permissible purpose (such as a keeping in touch day) on a day in their PPL period. In this circumstance, the person will be taken to have performed 7.6 hours of qualifying work.

If a person takes paid leave of at least one hour during their previous PLP period for a previous child, the hours of work the person is taken to have performed on the day is the greater of:

  • 7.6 hours of PLP if the day is a weekday, and
  • the number of hours of paid leave taken by the person on that day.

Example 1: A person may be taking 8 hours paid leave during their PLP period. In this circumstance, the person will be taken to have performed 8 hours of qualifying work on that day.

Example 2: A person may be taking 3 hours of paid leave during a PLP period. In this circumstance, the person will be taken to have performed 7.6 hours of qualifying work on that day.

A person in receipt of the jobkeeper payment will be taken to have performed 7.6 hours of qualifying work for the purposes of the work test for PLP for each weekday (no hours for a Saturday or Sunday) during a period/s of jobkeeper payment.

Where a person has performed more than one hour of paid work or received paid leave on a day during a jobkeeper payment period, the person will be taken to have performed qualifying work for the greater of 7.6 hours (or no hours for a Saturday or Sunday) or the number of hours actually worked or number of hours of paid leave received.

Where a person performs at least one hour of paid work on a day and the day is a Saturday or Sunday that falls in a jobkeeper payment period, the person will be taken to have worked the hours actually performed on that day (instead of no hours).

Example 3: Sarah performs 9 hours of work on a Monday that is in a jobkeeper payment period because she is required to work overtime. However, on Tuesday her hours are reduced to 4 hours due to a decrease in demand, and on Wednesday reduced to nil hours. It would be unfair to determine that on Monday, when she was required to work overtime due to the constantly fluctuating nature of the current work environment, she be taken to have performed 7.6 hours of work because she was working during a jobkeeper payment period. Therefore, the greater of the 2 should be taken into account when applying the PLP work test. In Sarah's case, the 9 hours actually worked would be counted for Monday not 7.6 hours. Sarah would be taken to have performed 7.6 hours of work on Tuesday, Wednesday and any other days that occur in a jobkeeper payment period.

Act reference: PPLAct Part 2-3 Division 3 The work test, section 14 Determination on primary and secondary claims made jointly-claimants sharing PLP, section 33 The work test period, section 34 When a person performs qualifying work, section 35A Hours of qualifying work on a day in a PPL or DAPP period, 35B Hours of qualifying work on a day in a jobkeeper payment period

PPL Rules Subdivision 2.3.2.3 Jobkeeper payment

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.1 PLP eligibility overview

Last reviewed: 21 September 2020