From April 2016, standard parental leave payments will be extended to 18 weeks. However, in an acknowledgement of the additional stress and impact of a premature arrival, parents of pre-term babies will now be entitled to a maxium of 27 weeks paid parental leave, the Government has announced. 

If a baby was born early, its parents would receive additional weekly payments for each week prior to 37 weeks gestation, Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse said. 

“For example, a mother who gives birth at 28 weeks would receive nine additional weekly payments, making it a total of 27 weeks of payment,” he said. 

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