Looks like I started having kids a year too early! Government paid parental leave has been on the increase for the past few years, but is getting a major hike on 1st July when it goes from 18 to 22 weeks.
A further increase to 26 weeks has been announced from 1 July 2020.
But this doesn’t mean you, as the Employer, has to provide any additional leave though.
You are already required to keep an employees job open for a minimum period of six months if the employee has been working for you for at least six months but less than 12, and to keep their job open for a year if they have worked for you for 12 months or more.
What this change means is that fewer employees are likely to return to work prior to the six month mark, because they’ll be receiving the government entitlement for longer now.
Changes have also been made to the Keeping in Touch days, increasing them from 40 to 52 hours from 1 July 2018. These days allow an employee to work limited hours during the paid parental leave period, without losing their entitlement for payments. They’re intended to make sure the connection between employer & employee is maintained, even during the period of absence.