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 when it commences for children born or adopted from 1 January 2013 as an extension of the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme.

Facilitated by UniQuest’s Consulting and Research Division, the two-year research contract will see ISSR academics working closely with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to 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.

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.

“We are proud to have enabled ISSR researchers to share their expertise with the Department, especially as Dad and Partner Pay represents a significant cultural and economic shift in the way Australia recognises the value of co-parenting in the first year of a child’s life,” Mr Henderson said.

“Around 75% of fathers take some time off work following the birth of a child, but only for a short time and most use their annual leave.

“For the first time in our national history, dads or partners who don’t have access to paid leave associated with a birth or adoption may be eligible for financial support to take time off work – regardless of whether they work full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, on contract or are self-employed.

“The ISSR, being one of Australia’s largest social science research groups, was appointed in 2010 to lead a collaborative four-year evaluation of the PPL scheme. This additional contract has the potential to influence how the scheme is adapted in the future, and therefore have an impact on the quality of Australian family life,” Mr Henderson said.

Dad and Partner Pay will offer up to two weeks of government-funded pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage rate (currently about $606 per week before tax).

Dad and Partner Pay 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. More information about it can be found on the FaHCSIA website:

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