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latest news in employment law

Parental Leave Changing in April

Published 08 Mar 2016

Employers need to be aware of a number of changes being made to Parental Leave from 1 April 2016.  

Most importantly, parental leave payments increase from 16 weeks to 18 weeks.

From this dates, more workers are eligible for this parental leave, in particular those who have recently changed jobs, season and casual workers, workers with more than one employer, and those that meet the extended definition of ‘Primary Caregiver’ e.g. grandparents, home for life.  

The new legislation also allows workers with greater flexibility.  ‘Keeping in Touch’ days are introduced allowing workers to work up to 40 hours during the 18 weeks paid leave.  These hours allow workers to stay up to date with their workplace, refresh their skills or attend a training / conference, complete a work handover and help the ease back into work.  The baby needs to be at least four weeks old before the Keeping in Touch days can be used.  Employees are also be able to return to work for a period of time and take the remainder of their unpaid leave later in the year without foregoing any unpaid leave entitlements.

On a positive note for Employers, workers are now able to resign if they wish and still receive payments.  This gives more choice to workers and more certainty for Employers.  Employers are be able to recruit a permanent replacement, rather than a temporary replacement, in a situation where the worker does not intend to return.  

For an in-depth guide on Parental Leave, including the latest changes, please see our eBook ‘Parental Leave Guide’.  

Employers Support Package members, this eBook is in the Library section of the Employers Toolbox online.