Are we required to offer paid parental leave?

Do you understand your employer obligations if an employee is taking maternity leave? We recently answered the following question.


“We are a small business with a staff of seven and one of our employees is expecting a child. Do we need to pay paid maternity leave as well as Government Paid Parental Leave?”



Firstly, you need to provide the employee with the government-funded Paid Parental Leave (PPL) if they qualify for the scheme. To check their eligibility, click here to visit the Fair Work website. If the employee does qualify, the Federal Government will make the payment to you. You will need to pass this on to the employee.

Secondly, check your workplace policies and the employee’s employment contract or enterprise agreement. If there is a clause about an employer-funded paid parental leave arrangement, you may be required to provide this.

Outside of the above, providing employer-funded paid parental leave is at your discretion as the employer. It is not mandatory. If you decided to provide this, the arrangement would operate in addition to the Government PPL scheme.



If you have an employee going on parental leave, make sure you acknowledge the terms of their leave by issuing them a letter. We have a template letter already created that you can use. For more information, click here to visit our online HR Shop.


For advice specific to your business, get in touch with Lisa at or Nick at, or call (07) 46383599 to book your free, one-hour, no-obligation HR consultation.