Changes to Unpaid Parental Leave

December 11, 2020

Several changes have been made to the entitlement to unpaid Parental leave under the National Employment Standards.

Firstly, the entitlement to 12 months unpaid Parental leave has been extended to parents that experience the tragedy of a stillbirth as well as 2 days paid compassionate leave on the event of such deaths.

Secondly, if a child is required to remain in hospital or hospitalised immediately after the child’s birth because of premature birth, complications or illness, the employee may agree with their employer that the unpaid parental leave will not be taken whilst the child remains in hospital.

Thirdly, an employee may take up to 30 days of unpaid Parental leave (‘flexible unpaid parental leave’) during the 24-month period starting on the date of birth or day of placement of the child. The 30 days comes out of the 12 months of unpaid parental leave. Parents may choose to take flexible unpaid parental leave for several reasons including to share caring responsibilities between parents or to help with gradually returning to work.

These new arrangements commenced 27 November 2020.

Further information is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman. ERO members can view and download the updated Parental Leave Fact Sheet sheet available in the ERO Library.

If you would like to discuss the particular circumstances of your business please contact me.

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