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Parental Leave

This Fact Sheet explains your entitlement to unpaid parental leave and how to make sure you are eligible to return to the same position you held before your unpaid parental leave began.

If you are a permanent full-time or part-time employee, you may be eligible to take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave under the National Employment Standards if:

  • you, your spouse or de facto partner are giving birth to a child or adopting a child under 16 years of age; and
  • you have responsibility for the care of your child; and
  • you have or would have completed 12 months of ‘continuous service’ with your employer by the expected date of birth or date of placement of your child or, the starting date of the leave if the leave is taken after another person takes unpaid parental leave.

If you are a casual employee, you may be eligible to take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave under the National Employment Standards if:

  • you have been working for your employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months before the expected birth of your child; and
  • you have a reasonable expectation of continuing work with the employer on a regular and systematic basis, if not for the birth or adoption of your child.

There are a number of important things to be aware of before taking unpaid parental leave, including:

  • Formally applying for unpaid parental leave
  • Your employee’s options for dealing with your absence
  • Your employer’s obligation to consult with employees on unpaid parental leave
  • Keeping in touch days
  • The return to work guarantee
  • Redundancies while on parental leave – your rights
  • Flexible working arrangements

For further support

More details on the above topics can be found in the Fact Sheet which you should download.

Call our Telephone Information Service on Melbourne Metro (03) 9662 1933 or Regional Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania on 1800 331 617.

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