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New Parental Leave to support Stillbirth and Infant Trauma

Linnea Herner Unsplash

The Government is set to improve parental leave entitlements to support families through trauma such as stillbirths, premature births and infant deaths.  The government will increase entitlements to a maximum of 12 months. 

Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Christian Porter, commented “The Government understands how devastating losing a child can be and recognises that the current entitlement to just six weeks of guaranteed unpaid parental leave is insufficient for many parents who need more time before they return to work.”

The Government will also make changes to remove the barrier that prevents parents from going back to work, parents will be able to put a hold on their leave providing for more flexibility, enabling parents to take leave when they most need it.  This has been a particular issue for parents of premature babies and babies with birth related complications. 

“Parents have told us how frustrated they felt by having to use up large amounts of their leave while their little one was in hospital, instead of being able to put it on hold until they needed it,” Mr Porter said.

These new leave entitlements join other recent leave schemes introduced by the Government, including the paid parental leave scheme and the unpaid leave scheme. 

While employers and employees will need to negotiate the arrangements of parental leave, the new leave entitlement will allow for more flexibility and support within the workplace.

It is expected that the Legislation will be discussed over the coming weeks and the new leave entitlements will be it introduced into Parliament in the Autumn sitting period.

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This article has been prepared by Vanessa Baglieri, Marketing Manager. The information provided should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should speak with Rosa Raco directly about your specific circumstances via email rraco@wrlaw.com.au or phone 03 54996131.