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.

2.4.2 Absences from Australia for PLP


This topic explains how a temporary absence (1.1.A.10) from Australia affects eligibility for PLP.

When a person who has left Australia continues to meet residency conditions

A person who meets the residency conditions at 2.4.1, and has left Australia and remains absent from Australia may continue to meet the Australian residency test for PLP, until they have been absent from Australia for a period of more than 56 weeks. A person no longer satisfies the Australian residency test on any day on which they have been absent from Australia for more than 56 weeks.

A person may be eligible for PLP on any flexible PPL days (1.1.F.70) for the child that fall within 56 weeks of the date they first became absent from Australia (unless they receive an extension from the Secretary). They will be ineligible on any flexible PPL days that fall after this date as long as they continue to be remain absent from Australia. Once they return to Australia they will satisfy the residency requirements again, and may be eligible for any remaining flexible PPL days.

Extension to the temporary absence period

The Secretary may extend the 56 week period to a period of no more than 3 years if a person was unable to return to Australia due to:

  • deployment outside Australia as a defence force member, under conditions specified in a determination made under the Defence Act 1903 that relates to such deployment, or
  • deployment outside Australia for the purpose of capacity building or peacekeeping functions as a member or special member of the Australian Federal Police, or a protective service officer within the meaning of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.

Calculating the absence period

If a person who has been absent from Australia for more than 6 weeks, but less than 56 weeks, returns to Australia, and then leaves again less than 6 weeks later, then the person is taken not to have returned to Australia for the purposes of calculating the 56 week period for the Australian residency test for PLP.

If a person has been absent from Australian for 56 or more weeks, then returns to Australia and leaves again less than 6 weeks after returning, they do not meet the Australian residency test and are not eligible for PLP at any time during their stay in Australia or their subsequent absence from Australia.

If the 56 weeks absence period expires during a return to Australia of less than 6 weeks, the Australian residency test will not be met for any days after the 56 weeks, including days falling within that period of return, despite the individual's physical presence in Australia.

Act reference: PPLAct section 46 Effect of absence from Australia on Australian residency test

PPL Rules

Policy reference: PPL Guide 1.1.A.10 Absence from Australia, 2.1 PLP eligibility overview

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