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You cannot get paid parental leave until you stop working or begin parental leave from work. The latest you can start receiving it is your baby's due date, the day your baby is born, or the date the child comes into your care. If you apply after this date we’ll give you the paid parental leave entitlement you missed out on as a lump sum.

There is one exception to this. You can use annual or other paid leave before you start paid parental leave. Your paid parental leave will start the day after this ends, even if this is after:

  • your baby is born
  • the child comes into your care.
Birth date or due date (whichever is later) or date the child comes in to your care Maximum amount of paid parental leave
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 22 weeks
On or after 1 July 2020 26 weeks

If your baby is premature

If your baby is born more than 3 weeks early you may qualify for extra payments. You will get these from the day your baby is born through to the end of what would have been your 36th week of pregnancy. Your regular paid parental leave payments will start after this.

You can also get these payments if you have primary care of the baby during this time but are not the birth mother.

You might go back to work after you start receiving the preterm baby payment. If you do this, those payments will stop. You will start receiving paid parental leave again if you then go back on parental leave, as long as this is not after your baby's original due date.