Changes that will move single parents onto the Newstart allowance when their youngest child turns eight are aimed at getting people into work, Families Minister Jenny Macklin says.
The changes came into effect on Tuesday and will affect 84,000 single parents who are currently receiving parenting payments.
It will save the budget $728 million over four years, but welfare groups say it will lead to more people falling into poverty.
Ms Macklin defended the changes on Tuesday saying they would encourage people to work.
Ms Macklin was speaking at the Mercy Hospital for Women where she visited new and future parents to celebrate the start of Dad and Partner Pay.
Family and Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin, speaking to reporters in Melbourne saidWe understand what is important for people who are unemployed is that we do everything possible to help people get work.
What we have found as a result of the changes made in 2006, we have seen more and more single parents going back to work and of course the more that people go back to work the better.
Unfortunately we have far too many children growing up in families where nobody is working. We want to do everything we possibly can to support families to go out to work and hold down a job.
From Tuesday, eligible working dads and same-sex partners will receive two weeks of government-funded pay at the national minimum wage - currently about $606 per week before tax, for children born or adopted.
Will Enzinger, a self-employed equestrian coach, whose partner Emily Anker is expecting to give birth by caesarean section on Wednesday saidThe payment will allow me to take time off for the birth without having stress about money.
Just to be there to support and do it together, it is a great opportunity, It will be a big help.