Saturday, April 20, 2024

New parental leave entitlements for NSW public sector

The NSW Public Service has made changes to its parental leave entitlements, with all parents now entitled to 14 weeks of paid parental leave, removing the distinction between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carers.  

Parents can also use their leave up to two years after the birth, adoption, surrogacy or permanent out-of-home care placement of their child. 

An additional two weeks of ‘bonus leave’ is now also available where parents more equally share childcare responsibilities between partners, allowing public sector employees to take up to 16 weeks’ paid parental leave. 

NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet said giving parents more choice about how they juggle care and careers would help strengthen families and women’s career and economic opportunities. 

“Giving fathers the option to spend more time with their young ones and mothers the option to return to work when it suits them will build strong foundations for families and benefit the whole community,” Mr Perrottet said. 

Treasurer, Matt Kean said the updated public sector parental leave scheme was one of the first of its kind in the country and encouraged other governments and the private sector to follow suit. 

“The NSW Government is the largest employer in Australia, and we are leading the way by ensuring families of all shapes and sizes will benefit from these pioneering changes,” Mr Kean said. 

“Caring for children is one of the most important jobs in our society and it’s only right that we value it appropriately.” 

Public sector workers undergoing fertility treatment now also have access to up to five days’ fertility leave per year. 

Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor said the NSW Government was committed to ensuring NSW is the best place in the country for women to live, work and raise a family. 

“Strong parental leave entitlements play a major role in supporting women’s economic opportunity and career progression,” Ms Taylor said. 

“Paid parental leave created with gender equality at its core will contribute to increased participation in the workforce, improved economic opportunities and greater financial wellbeing for women.” 

The new entitlements came into effect on 1 October.

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