Gay couples in Australia will now be allowed two weeks baby care leave to the value of approximately $606 (£389) from January 2013.

The paid leave is applicable to surrogacy and adoption, the same benefits fathers in same sex couples are entitled to.

The Dad and Partner Leave scheme means that one parent will have to be nominated as the primary career if they want the benefits of parental leave for 18 weeks.

The Minister for Families Jenny Macklin said: “The new Dad and Partner Pay will help dads take more time off in those critical early months to bond with their baby and help mums right from the start,” she explained to

 In order to qualify for the paid leave dads must have worked a minimum of 330 hours for 10 out of 13 months prior to the start of their Dad and Partner Pay Leave scheme, they must also be earning no more than $150,000 (£96,380).

Mackiln believes it is important to apply early to benefit from the new scheme: “We encourage expecting parents to apply early for both Dad and Partner Pay and Paid Parental Leave to get all of the paperwork sorted before the birth of their new baby.”


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