Any doctor who is either public hospital employed, contracting as a locum, a VMO on fee for service arrangements or self employed, is eligible for the Government Scheme subject to the following criteria:
– the doctor must have worked at least 10 of the previous 13 months
– the doctor’s previous financial year income must not have exceeded $150,000
– parental leave must be taken as a single period within 12 months from birth of the child (any employed doctor is guaranteed unpaid leave after 12 months service with their employer)
– the payment benefit is primarily for the mother of the child (transfer to the father can only occur after the mother has applied and begun receiving payment)
The Government Scheme is a social security style benefit that must be claimed. In practice for public hospital employed doctors, the Scheme allows use of the paid 10 weeks employment entitlement and then maintain continuity of income through receiving the minimum wage benefit for another 18 weeks during a period of unpaid parental leave. The Scheme does allow for its payments to overlap the 10 weeks paid entitlement if preferred.
For more information click here to visit the Paid Parental Leave section of the Family Assistance Office website.