Proposals that would increase paid parental leave options for employees feature in a bill introduced into Australia’s parliament on 6 Feb 2020. The Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020 aims to increase the employment rate for women, but wouldn’t increase the duration of paid parental leave.
Currently, paid parental leave must be taken in a single continuous block of 18 weeks within the first 12 months following a child’s birth or adoption. The bill proposes that parents would be able to divide their parental leave entitlement into two blocks over a two-year period. The first 12 weeks would have to be taken continuously within 12 months following a child’s birth or adoption. The remaining six weeks of leave could be taken at any time until the child is aged two — or up to two years following an adoption, and doesn’t have to be taken in a single block. The new measures would apply to children born or adopted on or after 1 Jul 2020, but employees would be able to apply for leave from 1 Apr 2020.