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The Australian Government sets a minimum standard for maternity and parental leave through the National Employment Standards (NES). This legislation sets out the minimum entitlements for parents who qualify for parental leave.You may qualify for additional benefits and entitlements from your employer and if your job is covered under a specific Award or Workplace Agreement. Below we have answered the most common questions parents have about maternity and parental leave entitlements.
Employees can get parental leave when a child is born or adopted. These entitlements include:
The parental leave can be can be taken when an employee gives birth or an employee's spouse or de facto partner gives birth.
Employees can take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave to care for your new baby. This leave will be reduced if you take any special maternity leave before your baby is born. You can also request an additional 12 months of leave.
Parents can split the parental leave - so that each parent takes some time off to care their new baby. If both parents are working parents, they may take unpaid parental leave at the same time called 'concurrent leave' for up to 8 weeks.
The Australian government also has Paid Parental leave entitlements.
You are entitled to return to work into the position you held before starting your parental leave. If that position no longer exists due to a genuine restructure you should be offered a role with similar status and pay in the company.
You must inform your employer at least 10 weeks before the expected date of birth of your child. Take a look at our Maternity Leave Letter which gives you an idea of what you need to include.
You can access the most up to date information at the Australian Government's FairWork website.
For New Zealand: Take a look at the NZ government's Employment New Zealand website.