The Victorian Government is making things fairer for new parents and the businesses they work for, with some simple changes to payroll tax laws.

From 1 July, the payroll tax exemption for wages paid to employees on maternity leave will be expanded to include all types of parental leave, including paternity leave.

This will give parents the opportunity to spend more time at home with their newborn child, while supporting the businesses that employ them.

The Labor Government recognises that the first few months with a child can be some of the most precious for any parent – but for families, it can be a stressful and financially challenging time.

Under the new parental leave exemption, up to 14 weeks wages paid to an employee taking parental leave will be exempt from payroll tax.

The exemption will also apply to wages paid to employees taking supporting partner leave.

The Labor Government acted after a Bendigo business owner sent an email to his local MPs questioning why the exemption only applied to employees taking maternity, but not paternity, leave.

We found the exemption had not been updated since its introduction in 2003.

This $7.2 million initiative helps fulfils the election commitment the Labor Government made to support Victorian mums and dads – which includes a range of measures designed to help young Victorian families, such as new parenting centres and more Maternal and Child Health nurses.

The Victorian Budget 2019/20 included $214 million to ensure new parents have the support and care they – and their baby – need, including a dedicated 24-hour phone line with specialists in sleep and settling issues and home-based sleep support for 7,000 vulnerable families.