Release type: Media Release


More flexible parental leave for families


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

The Albanese Labor Government will make it easier for parents to take unpaid parental leave, providing greater flexibility for families.

The message at last year’s Jobs and Skills Summit was clear: parental leave needs to be fairer, more flexible, and more generous.

That’s why the Government is improving the parental leave framework in the Fair Work Act to increase flexibility and remove complex restrictions that limit choice for families.

The Government’s changes will increase an employee’s entitlement to flexible unpaid parental leave from 30 days to 100 days.

Pregnant employees will also be able to take some of their flexible unpaid parental leave starting six weeks prior to the expected date of birth of the child, making it easier for them to balance work and prepare for birth.

This measure is part of the Albanese Labor Government’s Protecting Worker Entitlements Bill, which will be introduced to Parliament this week.

The Bill will also remove restrictions that currently prevent couples taking more than 8 weeks of unpaid parental leave at the same time.

These changes will align the unpaid parental leave provisions in the Fair Work Act with changes we made to Paid Parental Leave earlier this year.

It means more choice for families in how they take leave from work. This will encourage parents to better share caring responsibilities in their child’s early years, which in turn promotes gender equality.

A parental leave system that empowers the full and equal participation of women is good for business, good for families and good for the economy.

Parental leave is a proud Labor legacy and we’re continuing to build on it as we work towards gender equality.