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Paid Parental Leave Extends for Premature Babies

Published 10 Sep 2015

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse said payments would depend on how premature the baby was and each case and entitlement would be different.

In a statement Michael Woodhouse is quoted; "Under the changes, eligible parents of pre-term babies will be entitled to a longer period of parental leave payments than the standard 18 weeks (as at 1 April 2016), if the baby is born prior to 37 weeks of gestation (considered full term)"

"They will receive additional weekly payments for each week the baby was born prior to the 37 week gestation period. For example, a mother who gives birth at 28 weeks would receive nine additional weekly payments, making it a total of 27 weeks of payment."

The changes are part of the Employment Standards Legislation Bill, currently before Parliament.

Paid parental leave for all parents would be extended to 26 weeks under legislation before Parliament.

Paid parental leave increased from 14 to 16 weeks this year and will increase to 18 weeks next year, but Labour are pushing for it to be extended to 26 weeks with the backing of other smaller parties.