NSW delivers ‘groundbreaking’ paid parental leave to these workers

Every mother and father now entitled to 14 weeks of paid parental leave

NSW delivers ‘groundbreaking’ paid parental leave to these workers

Every mother and father in the New South Wales’ public sector is now entitled to 14 weeks of paid parental leave as part of “groundbreaking” reforms to the NSW government’s paid parental leave system that eliminate the difference between a “primary” and a “secondary” caregiver.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said that the state was leading the way in Australia on parental leave because providing parents greater flexibility in combining care and employment strengthens families and women’s career and economic opportunities.

With essential reforms to the state’s public service parental leave entitlements now in place, paramedics, police officers, teachers, and other public-sector workers throughout the state can spend more critical time with their young children.

“Giving parents the support and real options to share care in the early years of their child’s life, lets families choose what works for them and delivers equal opportunity for NSW government employees,” Perrottet said. “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.”

NSW’s paid parental leave

Parents can now use their leave for up to two years following their child’s birth, adoption, surrogacy, or permanent out-of-home care placement.

An additional two weeks’ “bonus leave” is also available for parents who split childcare obligations more evenly between spouses, allowing public sector employees to take up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave.

The NSW government pledged $16.5 billion over 10 years to level the playing field for women in the 2022-23 budget, with $4.9 billion invested over four years to 2025-26, the largest investment in the state’s history to support women and families.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the new parental leave plan for the public sector is “one of the first of its kind in the country,” and he urged other governments and the business sector to follow suit.

“NSW 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,” 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 up to five days’ fertility leave per year.

Meanwhile, Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said that “strong parental leave benefits play a significant role in boosting women’s economic opportunities and professional advancement.”

“Paid parental leave designed with gender equality at its core will lead to higher female labor-force participation, enhanced economic prospects, and greater financial well-being,” Taylor said.

The said parental leave policy took effect on Oct. 1.

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