Extended leave entitlements parental leave: A guide for employees

Paid Parental leave is an entitlement for any employee expecting to take time to welcome a new little family member. This is a guide to both employer and government funded leave schemes

Congratulations! You’ve already had a journey so far. The next step now is to share the fantastic news with your employer.

Each year thousands of expecting mums and dads take a leave of absence to spend time with their newly arrived little one. As exciting as this time is there is always conflicting feelings when it comes to balancing personal and professional needs. There is much to consider during this next step and as always preparation is the key. In part 1 of this series Extended leave entitlements: Parental leave we’ll be looking into your rights and responsibilities as an employee when taking parental leave. For more information on this topic check out https://www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/best-practice-guides/parental-leave

Firstly let’s clarify…there are two types of parental leave: employee funded and government funded. If your employer is funding your parental leave it will either be in your contract of employment and enterprise agreement or a workplace policy. If you are about to take a new job, see if this comes as part of the employment.

If your employer doesn’t have this in place you can apply to access the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave Scheme which will provide a pay for a maximum period of 18 weeks at the National Minimum Wage. There are some terms and conditions around this so check out www.humanservices.gov.au/paidparentalleave

And for the working partners and dads out there you are also entitled up to 2 weeks of government funded pat at the national minimum wage at any time within the first year of the bubs arrival. For more info check www.humanservices.gov.au/dadandpartnerpay

The National Employment Standards (NES) provides a return-to-work guarantee which allows employees to return to their current position and if that is not available to be transfer to a position that is closets in status and pay. There is more info about this and if you are a long term casual employee on the https://www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/best-practice-guides/parental-leave#returningtoworkflexible

“In consultation with their employer, employees can choose to organise their paid parental leave in a way which best meets their financial and caring needs. Subject to the terms of employer-funded paid parental leave policies, employees can elect to receive paid parental leave from both government-funded and employer-funded schemes consecutively or concurrently”

The take home message from all of this to firstly make sure that there is an organisational policy with your company that supports paid parental leave and if not check with the government scheme. If your company has a policy in place have a chat with your employer to make sure you are fully aware of your entitlements.

Then once that’s all sorted you might want to check in with your accountant.. kids are not cheap ;)

In part two of this series we will take a look at how best to cross this traverse as an employer and is especially important for small businesses. In this section we will focus on how you as an employer can spend your parental leave bonding with your bub.www.humanservices.gov.au/dadandpartnerpay

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