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Fact sheet

Parental leave

Carers with at least one year's continuous service with the same employer and who are responsible for a child under 5, or under 18 if the child is disabled, are entitled to:

  • 13 weeks (unpaid) leave per child to look after a child, to be taken by the child's fifth birthday , or
  • 18 weeks (unpaid) leave per child to look after a disabled child to be taken by the child’s 18th birthday

For parents who have adopted a child, the leave must be taken during the 5 years from the date of placement or before the child's 18th birthday, whichever is the sooner.

Leave can be taken in blocks of a week (and usually up to 4 weeks in a year), or blocks of a day if the leave is to care for a disabled child (again, usually up to a maximum of 4 weeks a year). Collective or workforce agreements may allow employees to take more than 4 weeks off in a year.

At least 21 days' notice is required to take parental leave.