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The government has introduced some new changes to Parental Leave in the Fair Work Act.
As a small to medium business you will need to ensure that your current policies and procedures reflect this change.
Some of the changes you will need to be aware of are:
Women who are pregnant can transfer to a safe job (regardless of length of service), and if a safe job is not available then they will be entitled to unpaid leave (even if there is not entitlement to paid parental leave).
Your employees can now take special maternity leave without reducing the amount of unpaid parental leave.
Couple can take up to 8 weeks unpaid parental leave at the same time or in separate periods. This is an increase of 5 weeks.
The amendments enable more employees to have the right to request flexible working arrangements e.g. employees who have caring responsibly, parents of guardians of school age or younger children, employees with disabilities, those over 55 years, or employees experiencing family violence or supporting a family / household who is.
Among all of these changes, the Act gives employers more guidance of what is reasonable grounds for refusing flexible work request e.g. the working arrangement would be too costly, no capacity to change the current working environment, impractical to change the current arrangement or the outcome of changing would likely result in loss of efficiency, productivity or impact on customer service.
Should you require more information on the changes the best source is to go to the FWA website.
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