Paternity Leave in Australia: A Guide for Overseas Employers

When an employee has a new child, many countries will offer statutory leave and payments to one or both of the new parents.  Maternity leave for the mother is the benefit most familiar to employers, but there may also be a paternity leave entitlement for the father or partner of the mother. 

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Paid leave may be provided by the government, the employer, or shared between the two.

Before you hire employees in Australia, it will be helpful to know the paternity leave entitlements and benefits, who pays them, and how your company may be able to augment that to support your employees with a newborn.  This guide will provide those details, along with an example of how one of our clients handled paternity leave for their employees.

Who is entitled to paternity leave in Australia?

There is a broad category of employees who are entitled to paternity leave in Australia, including:

  • The biological father
  • The birth mother’s partner
  • Parents who adopt
  • Anyone caring for a child born in surrogacy

The test for a partner relationship can be met through registered civil unions when recognized in the Australian state or territory.  If not in a registered or recognized union, the employee can still meet the partner test by demonstrating evidence of a de facto relationship, that is similar to a marriage.

If the employee does qualify for... read more

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Tim Burgess

Director, Shield GEO Services Ltd