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Under the NES, an employee who takes an initial 12 months of unpaid parental leave may request an extension of unpaid parental leave for a further period of up to 12 months immediately following the end of their initial 12 months of unpaid parental leave.

A request for an extension of unpaid parental leave must be made in writing and provided to the employer at least 4 weeks before the end of the employee’s initial 12 months of unpaid parental leave.

An employer must provide the employee with a written response, stating whether the employer grants or refuses their request. The response must be provided as soon as practicable and no later than 21 days after the request is made. An employer may refuse a request only on reasonable business grounds. If a request for an extension of unpaid parental leave is refused, the employer’s response must include details of the reasons for refusal.  

To meet the requirements of the NES an employer can use this letter. Employees wishing to request an extension of unpaid parental leave can use the 'Request for Extension of Parental Leave Form'.

Members that may be considering refusing a request for an extension of unpaid parental leave are encouraged to contact the Ai Group Workplace Advice Line on 1300 55 66 77 for advice before doing so.    
 

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