Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce will be taking leave next week and won't stand in as the nation's leader while Malcolm Turnbull is away.
The prime minister, who is heading to Washington next week, told parliament on Thursday that leave had been approved for February 19 to 25.
Mr Joyce has been under fire over his acceptance of a rent-free apartment offered to him by businessman Greg Maguire and whether any rules have been broken in regard to jobs provided to his former staffer and now partner Vikki Campion.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will be acting prime minister during the period, as he is government leader in the Senate.
Labor leader Bill Shorten asked the prime minister whether the provision of leave confirmed the deputy prime minister could not do his job.
"Or are we simply meant to believe it's all a big coincidence?" Mr Shorten said.
Mr Turnbull reiterated that Mr Joyce was on leave.