Updated 29 Mar 2021Print this page

The National Employment Standards (NES) provide unpaid parental leave as a minimum entitlement for all Australian employees (not just national system employees) and covers birth-related leave and adoption-related leave. Employees may also have benefits relating to parental leave from:

  • Government-funded paid parental leave under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010
  • Employer funded paid parental leave under an enterprise agreement, contract or company policy

The term “parental leave” is used collectively throughout the NES and Fair Work Act 2009 to cover maternity, paternity and adoption leave and covers leave which is related to the birth or adoption of a child.

Even though the NES sets out the minimum entitlements, workplaces may offer different conditions above and beyond that of the NES for both paid and unpaid parental leave.

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