Parents across New South Wales (who work in the NSW public sector), rejoice! Following a decade-long campaign by Public Service Association union, all new parents who are also NSW public sector employees will be able to access 14 weeks of paid parental leave — for the first year of their baby’s life.
Currently, the maternal parent can access 14 weeks of paid parental leave, but the “other” parent is only granted one week of paid leave — which is pretty abysmal.
This move will come into action on July 1 of this year and includes adoption and surrogacy.
Stewart Little, general secretary of the PSA NSW, says it’s a huge win for the parents of NSW, and for gender equity. “This gives families more choice about how they’ll care for their new child. But it also means women will be able to more readily return to work once they’re ready, knowing that the other parent also has access to paid parental leave.”
According to a press release, Public Sector Industrial Relations advised the union last week that it would expand the NSW public sector parental leave entitlement to two categories to include the birth or primary parent at the time of birth, adoption or surrogacy.
The “other” parent is defined as the parent who has primary responsibility for the care of the child not at the time of birth, adoption or surrogacy — a role that usually falls to the father in hetero relationships.
The other parent can access two weeks paid leave at the time of birth — the additional 12 weeks can be taken any time within the first 12 month’s of the baby’s life, apparently, or can be taken as 24 weeks of half pay.
“Both parents should be able to take time to bond with their new child, to learn how to care for them, and to share the load. Neither parent should be in a position where they have to make a choice between their career or their child.
Universal paid parental leave makes NSW public sector workplaces fairer, and paves the way for the private sector to follow.”