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Yes they certainly can. If you have a baby or adopt a child you or your partner are eligible for parental entitlements.
Dads and partners could also be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay.
Eligible working fathers and partners can obtain up to 2 weeks of Dad and Partner Pay when they have or adopt a child. Dad and Partner Pay will provide 2 weeks government funded payment (at the National Minimum Wage) This can be taken concurrently with the primary carer's 18 week government funded Paid Parental Leave. You can get the full details of the plan here.
The current rate for Dad and Partner Pay is $719.35 per week before tax. Dad and Partner Pay is taxable income and it may affect other family assistance payments so make sure you keep close track of your payment records so you can file your tax return correctly.
Eligibility for Dad and Partner pay is based on certain criteria including being:
It is important to note, you must meet the Work Test and Income Test to be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay.
Read more about Dad and Partner Pay here.
Dad and Partner Pay doesn't change your parental entitlements at your workplace. If you have worked continuously for your employer for 12 months or more, you can take up to 12 months as unpaid parental leave following the birth of your child or placement of an adoptive child under the age of 5.
Parents can split this time, but the leave must be taken as one continuous period (that is one after the other). It can also be taken concurrently (at the same time) for up to 8 weeks. Both parents can take parental leave at different times, with each parent taking a separate period of up to 12 months unpaid parental leave. The combined leave cannot be for more than 24 months.
Some employers also provide generous leave entitlements to their employees, on top of those entitlements from the government - you can take both!
You can find out more about applying for leave here.
Last updated June 2019.