Australia is looking to expand its unpaid parental leave entitlements through a new bill called the Protecting Worker Entitlements Bill.
If passed, employees will have an entitlement to flexible unpaid parental leave for up to 100 days, which is an increase from the current entitlement of 30 days.
Pregnant employees will also be allowed to start their leave six weeks before the expected date of birth of their child, and couples will no longer be restricted to taking only eight weeks of unpaid parental leave at the same time.
The bill aims to give families more choice in how they take leave from work, which could encourage parents to share caring responsibilities equally.
The proposed changes will align with the recent changes made to the Paid Parental Leave.
However, employers’ organization Ai Group has expressed concern about the proposal’s lack of balance and has called for “robust consideration” by the Parliament.