Is paid parental leave 12 or 18 weeks?

Paid Parental Leave is up to 100 days, or 20 weeks, while you care for a child born or adopted from 1 July 2023.:

  • a continuous Paid Parental Leave period of up to 12 weeks (60 payable days)
  • 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

You can choose to:

  • connect the flexible days to take all your leave at once
  • access the flexible days at at later time that suits you
  • give the flexible days to your partner or another person, to use on the days they have primary care.

Parental leave serves several important purposes and addresses the various needs of both parents and their children. Here are some key reasons why parental leave is considered important:

  1. Bonding and Attachment: Parental leave allows parents to spend uninterrupted time with their newborn or adopted child, fostering bonding and attachment. This early bonding is crucial for establishing a strong emotional connection between parents and their children, which can have long-lasting positive effects on the child’s development and well-being.
  2. Health and Well-being: Parental leave provides parents with the opportunity to recover physically and emotionally from the childbirth process or the adoption process. It allows them to prioritize their own health and well-being, reducing stress and promoting a smoother transition into parenthood.
  3. Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition: For breastfeeding mothers, parental leave allows for a sustained period of time to establish breastfeeding and provide optimal nutrition for their infants. It supports the World Health Organization’s recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life.
  4. Parental Involvement: Parental leave encourages and supports fathers and partners to actively participate in caregiving and child-rearing responsibilities. It helps foster gender equality, promotes shared parenting, and recognizes the importance of fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives from the earliest stages.
  5. Child Development: Research suggests that parental presence and active engagement during the early years of a child’s life have a positive impact on their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Parental leave allows parents to be more involved in their child’s care, promoting a nurturing environment and providing a foundation for healthy development.
  6. Work-Life Balance: Parental leave acknowledges the need for employees to balance their work and family responsibilities. It helps parents manage the demands of their careers while still being present and actively involved in their children’s lives during this critical period.

Overall, parental leave recognizes the importance of supporting the well-being of both parents and children during the early stages of a child’s life. It aims to create a supportive environment that allows parents to meet their caregiving responsibilities while maintaining their career aspirations.