New dads get parental leave boost

A new payment to help dads comes into operation next week.

Dad and Partner Pay will provide up to two weeks' government-funded pay from January 1, operating in tandem with the existing paid parental leave scheme.

The allowance will be paid at the rate of the national minimum wage, $606 a week before tax, when the new dad or partner takes unpaid leave from work or is not working.

''Dad and Partner Pay is a new payment for dads and partners caring for a new child, including adopting parents and same sex couples, available under the paid parental leave scheme,'' the Department of Human Services said.

''It's another option for taking time off work when you welcome a new child into your family.

''Taking more time off work helps you bond with your child and support your partner, or the child's main carer, in their new caring role.''

Prospective parents are being urged to submit the paperwork now for the payment, which is available any time in the first year after the child's birth or adoption.

"If you are expecting then you can do the paperwork rather than waiting until things get chaotic after the birth,'' Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh said.

- Ross Peake