Today Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Women, announced some welcome reforms to the government paid parental leave scheme as part of a $109 million Women’s Economic Security Statement.
Where parents previously needed to take the 18-week paid parental leave entitlement in one block, these reforms provide parents with more flexibility about when they take the leave. While parents will need to take the initial 12-weeks in the first year, they can take the remaining six weeks however they choose before their child turns 2.
The additional flexibility for families to structure their leave is designed to support more parents to go back to work. For example, in the second year, primary carers might take six periods of one-week leave however they like and that is best suited to their family needs.
“It is great that the government is looking at innovative ways to support working parents.” says Kate Pollard talking with the Herald Sun.
So what does it all mean? Here’s a quick summary of the proposed changes to parental leave as reported in Herald Sun:
- 18-week parental leave now can be split
- 12-week block must be taken in first year then remaining six weeks taken in any configuration that suits the family and employer
- Commences 1 July 2020
- Must be used within 2 years of birth or adoption
- Small employers / small business, will be able to work with parents to work out what works best. Currently if someone takes the whole 18 weeks small businesses can’t work with their employee to potentially split it
- Work test modified to extend the break between working days from 8 to 12 weeks and allow women to move their work test period if they have had to stop work early due to a workplace hazard
Written by the Circle In team.