NSW public sector employees who take on primary caregiving responsibilities for a child born on or after July 1 2021 will be able to access up to 14 weeks of paid parental leave, regardless of their gender.
The enhanced scheme, paid within 12 months of the date of birth, adoption or surrogacy, expands on existing maternity leave provisions to give all parents access to the same entitlements.
The expansion also offers the other parent of a new child two weeks’ paid parental leave at the time of birth, adoption or surrogacy. This is an increase of one week from the existing entitlement. The other parent will then be able to access the remaining 12 weeks’ paid parental leave if they become the primary caregiver and their partner has returned to work or study.
Special Minister of State Don Harwin said workplace leave arrangements need to reflect the needs and arrangements of today’s parents.
“The old maternity leave scheme was not sufficient as it did not allow for families where birth-mothers were not the primary caregiver to access sufficient leave to care for their child. This is great news for new parents who will now have access to the same leave entitlements as birth-mothers”
“No one type of family is more eligible than another, which is why the NSW Government is proud to update its parental leave policy. This furthers gender equality in the workplace and ensures that all parents can take appropriate leave to care for their newborn.” Mr Harwin said.
The new policy is available to every part of the public sector – including teachers, nurses and police. The Government anticipates that it will help families to better balance work and family life, support both parents to be involved in raising children, and support women in their return to the workforce.
The paid parental leave is available for eligible full-time and part-time, ongoing and temporary NSW Government employees.
As it has been in its previous form of maternity leave, the NSW Government paid parental leave is in addition to the federal government scheme.