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Female founders get access to additional parental leave pay

Starting a business can be just as life-altering as starting a family and juggling both can be quite a task.

Fortunately, parents having a baby or adopting will be able to access extra support, with an additional two weeks of Parental Leave Pay available through the federal government scheme from July 1.

And women planning an addition to their family will be paid an additional 12 per cent into their superannuation funds from July 2025 while on parental leave in an attempt to target the historically lower levels of superannuation held by retiring women compared with men.

Parents taking time off work to care for their newborn or newly-adopted child from July will now get 22 weeks paid leave – up from the 20 weeks previously available – under a tiered plan to expand the payment to a full six months by 2026.

Self-employed parents, including founders, and those working in a family business meet the work test to qualify for Parental Leave Pay even if their businesses don’t currently run at a profit.

Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, said it was important to support women when balancing caring and working responsibilities.

“The data is clear – that when women take time out of the workforce to raise children it impacts their retirement incomes with women retiring, on average, with about 25 per cent less super than men,” she said on announcing the superannuation policy.

“Paying super on government parental leave is an important investment to help close the super gap and make decisions about balancing care and work easier for women.”

Mothers and fathers qualify for the government-paid parental leave if they are taking time off work to care for a newborn or newly-adopted child and meet a family income test of $350,000, a work test and residency rules.

More information is available at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/parental-leave-pay

A woman with blonde hair tied in a ponytail is holding a baby wearing a white hat. The woman, an entrepreneur, is smiling and looking off to the side while the baby stares at the camera. The background shows framed photos and artwork on a wall, possibly hinting at her business ideas for women.