Changes to Parental Leave from July 1


We previously advised members that after years of Union advocacy, from 1 July any public sector employee (regardless of gender) who has the primary responsibility for the care of a newborn child will have access to 14 weeks paid leave. We now have the full details of how this will operate- see the attached determination.
A common scenario we have been asked is:

  • ‘My partner and I are both public sector workers. Once I finish my 14 weeks of maternity leave and go back to work can my partner take 14 weeks of leave?’

In this scenario your partner could take an additional 12 weeks when you go back to work if they become the primary carer. They could take 2 weeks at the time of birth while you are on leave, and then 12 weeks paid leave after your paid 14 weeks. This leave must be taken within 12 months of the baby being born. Primary Responsibility is defined as the person who meets the child’s physical needs more than anyone else, including feeding, dressing, bathing and otherwise supervising the child. Only one person at a time can have primary responsibility for the child or children.

We have also been asked about using this leave for babies born before 1 July. Unfortunately, NSW Health are strictly applying this determination to babies born on 1 July or after.

If you have questions or issues about this leave please get in touch at

Leave for grieving parents

NSW 2021/22 Budget has revealed new leave for parents who lose their baby. Parents in the NSW public sector who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth will be provided with 5 days of bereavement leave. The policy will apply to part-time and full-time workers in the NSW public sector. Read more in Women's Health.