Parental leave changes: what you need to know

Unions have won ground-breaking changes to Public Sector Paid Parental Leave which will promote greater gender equity and fairness in the workplace.

All new and expecting eligible parents working in the NSW Public Sector are now entitled to 14 weeks Paid Parental Leave (‘PPL’). 

The changes (which came into effect on 1 October 2022) are considerably more generous and flexible than the previous PPL scheme announced in July 2021. Under the new scheme, the distinction between  ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carer has been removed.   The provisions apply to new parents with responsibility for the care of their child or children.  

The amendments are intended to promote greater workplace flexibility, women’s economic opportunity, and encourage more men to take PPL - which stands at only 12% uptake.  

The new entitlements apply to children born on or after 1 October 2022 and allow either parent to use their leave for up to 24 months following the birth of their child, and four weeks of concurrent leave where both parents are employed by the NSW Public Sector (except for parents employed in the same workplace). These provisions also apply to instances of adoption, altruistic surrogacy, or permanent out-of-home-care placement (‘POOHC’). 

Parents will also be eligible for two-weeks ‘bonus leave’ where both parents have exhausted the PPL allocation. The ‘bonus leave’ is intended to be an option for parents who have equally shared in the childcare responsibilities, thus allowing eligible public sector employees up to 16 weeks PPL.  

Importantly, public sector employees are entitled to an additional of five days’ paid leave per year for employees undergoing IVF fertility treatment (special fertility treatment leave). 

For more info see  FAQs below, read Parental Leave Enhancements - Department of Health NSW , or contact us for advice and support.