I don't think the scheme is very well thought out.
It is aimed generally at lower income earners who otherwise wouldn't be able to take any time off, so to expect them to take unpaid leave and then get paid a month or so later is a bit rough. Some people will be really effected by no pay for a fortnight. Since they still pay you if you have a stillborn child they should just pay it on the EDD.
Agree with this.
Tbh I don't expect many men earning average to high incomes will take this payment because the difference in pay is too great to take unpaid leave at the same time. Which is fine, I don't mind a payment that is mostly geared towards helping lower income families. However as you point out, lower income families are the least able to afford the 2-4wk wait in receiving the payment. Doesnt really make sense.
And thanks OP, for pointing out how far in advance we need to apply. I would have expected it to be later than that and probably wouldnt have had ours done by then!