Families to benefit from more choice on leave options

The number of unpaid leave days parents will be able to take after welcoming a new baby could more than triple.

And pregnant women may be able to take some of their unpaid leave six weeks out from their expected due date, to help them balance work and preparing for birth.

New legislation to increase a worker’s entitlement to flexible unpaid parental leave from 30 days to 100 will be introduced to federal parliament this week.

The Protecting Worker Entitlements bill will also remove restrictions that currently stop couples from taking more than eight weeks of unpaid parental leave at the same time.

The planned changes to the parental leave framework evolved from last year’s Jobs and Skills Summit, which called for a simplified and fairer system giving more choice to families.

Employment Minister Tony Burke said the parental leave system was a “proud” Labor legacy.

“This will encourage parents to better share caring responsibilities in their child’s early years, which in turn promotes gender equality,” he said.

“A parental leave system that empowers the full and equal participation of women is good for business, good for families and good for the economy.”


Tess Ikonomou
(Australian Associated Press)


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