5 February 2013

University of Queensland (UQ) researchers from the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) will be monitoring and evaluating the impact of the Australian Government’s Dad and Partner Pay.

From January 1 2013, Dad and Partner Pay will provide up to two weeks of government-funded pay to eligible working fathers or partners, including adoptive and same sex parents, at the rate of the National Minimum Wage (currently around $606 per week before tax).

Dad and Partner Pay, an extension of the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme, will be available to the partners of many Australian mothers whose babies are born from January 1 2013.

It can be taken anytime in the first year after a child’s birth or adoption, at the same time the father or partner is on unpaid leave or not working.

The two-year research contract will see ISSR academics working closely with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).

Together, ISSR and FaHCSIA will collect data on current patterns of leave uptake by fathers and partners, as well as qualitative and quantitative research to analyse and report on emerging trends as Dad and Partner Pay is implemented.

ISSR Director Professor Mark Western said the Institute was well-placed to evaluate the scheme after recently completing Phase 2 of the Paid Parental Leave evaluation.

“Having designed and led the evaluation of Parental Leave Pay we’re delighted to now have the opportunity to evaluate the impact of Dad and Partner Pay,” he said.

“The scheme recognises the importance of fathers and partners and through evaluations such as this, we build the evidence base for future policy design and implementation.

“It’s one of the ways that ISSR aims to contribute to the big issues facing Australia today.”

ISSR Professor Bill Martin’s program group, Employment and Education, is also leading the evaluation of the PPL Scheme.

“Dad and Partner Pay aims to increase the time fathers and partners take off work around the time of a birth or adoption, create opportunities for them to bond with their child and support their partner,” Professor Martin said.

"It also allows them to take a greater share of caring responsibilities from early in the child’s life."

“Through Dad and Partner Pay, Australia has been brought into line with most other OECD countries in ensuring that the working partners of new mothers are entitled to some paid leave around the time of the birth.

“The Dad and Partner Pay evaluation is an exciting opportunity to focus on the experiences of fathers and partners around the time of a birth, and to assess how the new scheme assists them and their families. Its results will be crucial in the further development of parental leave policies in Australia.”

The contract was facilitated by UniQuest’s Consulting and Research Division. UniQuest’s Managing Director, David Henderson, said the research project demonstrated how the transfer of university knowledge and skills can contribute directly to informing government policy.

More information about it can be found on the FaHCSIA website: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/dad-and-partner-pay

Media: Cassandra Hughes, 07 3346 7344 or c.hughes6@uq.edu.au