Paid parental leave (flexibility measures) Bill introduced

A Bill to introduce greater flexibility to support working women, including self-employed women and small business owners has been introduced to the parliament.

The Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020 introduces changes to the Paid Parental Leave scheme aimed at better supporting working mothers and families to access their payment with greater flexibility.

Currently, Parental Leave Pay (PLP) can only be taken as a continuous 18-week block, within the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of the child.

From 1 July 2020, families will be able to split their PLP into blocks over a two-year period, with periods of work in between.

Parents will be able to use an initial 12-week block of their entitlement any time within the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of their child, without returning to work during this initial block.

The remaining entitlement of up to six weeks can then be taken any time before their child turns two years old and the parent can return to work any time during this period.

Pending passage of the amendments to the Paid Parental Leave scheme, the Government also intends to make complementary amendments to increase the flexibility of the existing unpaid parental leave entitlement in the Fair Work Act 2009.

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