More Flexibility For Parents When Taking Paid Parental Leave

For the first time parents will be in control of how they take paid parental leave.

Currently, primary carers are required to take their Parental Leave Pay in one block of 18 weeks.

Under the new reforms set to be outlined by Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer on Tuesday, new parents will be able to take the leave in two blocks.

The first will be an initial 12 week period and the remaining six weeks can be taken however the parent wishes, up until their child is two years old. This could be six one week periods or one day a week for 30 weeks, for example.

Parents have the option to work the last six weeks of leave around their personal circumstances. The policy will take effect in 2020.

Parents will be offered more Paid Parental Leave flexibility. Image: Getty Images.

The new policy is part of O'Dwyer's $109 million Women's Economic Security Statement that will be delivered at the National Press Club in Canberra.

O'Dwyer said it was through her own experience as a working mother that she realised making the Paid Parental Leave scheme more flexible was key to keeping women and parents in the work force.

Kelly O'Dwyer will announce the reforms on Tuesday. Image; Getty Images.

"Thousands of Australian parents will be better off under our changes," O'Dwyer told NewsCorp.

“These new measures won’t just give women and their families greater choice, they will also help grow the economy.”

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While discussing the subject on Studio 10, host Sarah Harris said small businesses will struggle to fill gaps in staff requirements once parents have the option of taking paid leave to suit their family's needs.

"It's much easier to cover when you have a block of three months rather than two weeks here, three weeks there, four weeks there," Harris said on Tuesday. 

"Kelly O'Dwyer says that this is going to be beneficial for small businesses.  My husband runs a small business and I don't know how it will be beneficial for someone like him...  I think small businesses do get the wrong end of the stick in so many cases here and they are struggling and if you are a big multinational corporation it's much easier to absorb that cost."

Featured Image: Getty Images. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au