Q: One of our employees recently became a father. Their partner has already taken six months off work to care for their baby. Now our employee has applied to take 12 months of parental leave for this same child. Can they do this?
A: Each eligible employee in an employee couple may take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave. An employee couple consists of two national system employees.
They need not be working for the same employer. To be eligible to take unpaid parental leave, an employee must first have 12 months of continuous service with their employer at the time they commence their leave and have met certain notice and evidence requirements outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009.
The total amount of unpaid parental leave that may be taken in relation to a child by an employee couple must not exceed 24 months.
In this particular case, the initial six months of parental leave that the employee’s partner has taken will not affect the employee’s entitlement to 12 months of parental leave.
The employee’s entitlement to parental leave will only be affected if their partner takes more than 12 months of unpaid parental leave in relation to that child.
►For more information or assistance on any employee relation or human resource issue, contact CCI’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Free for most CCI Members.