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Australia Expectant mothers falling through cracks of new government payment schemes

17:50  08 april  2020
17:50  08 april  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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Many expectant mothers have fallen through the cracks of the government's new payment schemes for those who have lost their jobs.

Amy Punsuwan was planning to work until her new baby arrived in October but lost her job in hospitality when pubs and clubs closed.

Now she has discovered she's ineligible for paid parental leave.

a person smiling for the camera: Expectant mum Amy Punsuwan was planning to work until her new baby arrived in October. © 9News Expectant mum Amy Punsuwan was planning to work until her new baby arrived in October.

"It's a lot of big financial stress for my family, it's pretty disheartening to know that we're only going to be able to live on one income," she told 9News.

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Similarly, self-employed photographer Laura Hurley is due to give birth to her fourth child in August.

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However, with events such as weddings and birthdays cancelled her work and income have dried up.

"Now we're trying to figure out are we better off forgetting about parental leave and applying for an alternative payment," she said.

The Federal Government's paid parental leave scheme pays the primary carer of a newborn $740 a week for 18 weeks, or about $13,000 before tax. 

To qualify, you must have worked a minimum of 330 hours for least 10 of the 13 months before the birth.

a small child sitting on a sofa: Mums are falling through the cracks of the government's coronavirus rescue plans. © 9News Mums are falling through the cracks of the government's coronavirus rescue plans.

New parents who have been stood down during the coronavirus pandemic can retain their eligibility for the governments paid parental leave scheme by allowing the JobKeeper payment to qualify for work for the purposes of paid parental leave work test. 

So those eligible for JobSeeker, will be still be able to claim parental payments under the bill being pushed through parliament.

But that does not apply to people who are made redundant or sole-traders.

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