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2dads-1babyGay fathers will now be eligible for paid parental leave, giving them the same rights as heterosexual parents when they have their baby.

Here in Australia same sex couples are still waiting to have their union recognized on par to heterosexual couples; but when it comes to parenting, equality is on the move.

On June 27th the Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012 was passed, giving fathers of any sexuality paid parental leave when their baby arrives, allowing dad and the baby to strengthen the parental bonds early on. Read our article from when the legislation passed here.

Under the national employment standard, parents are entitled to three weeks leave, but from January 1st 2013, dads – as well as dads whose partners are dads – are entitled to two weeks of baby care leave at the national minimum wage of $606 per week.

Last January the Government introduced 18 paid weeks of parental leave to the ‘primary carer’, which is usually the mother. Under the new standard gay households will need to nominate one father as the ‘primary carer’ and another as ‘dad’.

Eligible dads must have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) in 10 of the 13 months before the start of their Dad and Partner Pay period, with no more than an eight-week gap between two consecutive working days; and must have earned $150,000 or less in the previous financial year.

Minister for Families Jenny Macklin says assisting with family time together is important, “especially for those dads who don’t get any paid leave from their employer, and who at the moment have to go straight back to work and miss out on those incredibly special first few weeks of their baby’s life.”

“We encourage expecting parents to apply early for both Dad and Partner Pay and Paid Parental Leave to get all of the paperwork sorted before the birth of their new baby.”

The baby can come from adoption, surrogacy or other arrangements with the birth mother, but don’t worry ladies – two women who become mums are also eligible for the paid leave.

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