Employees in Australia who are eligible for parental leave (see below) are entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave, and have the right to request an additional 12 months unpaid parental leave.
Employees are eligible to take parental leave if they:
For casual employees to be eligible for unpaid parental leave, they need to have:
Source and additional information: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/maternity-and-parental-leave
Paid Parental Leave:
The current government paid parental leave scheme affords eligible employees up to 18 weeks' pay.
Employees are eligible if they:
Source and additional information: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/parental-leave-pay
Before an employee can take parental leave, they are required to provide their employer with a certain amount of written notice, and evidence if they request it.
10 weeks before the intended leave commencement date:
An employee is required to provide their employer with notice in writing stating their intention to take parental leave, including how much leave they want to take and the anticipated start and finish dates of the leave.
4 weeks before the intended leave commencement date:
An employee is required to provide their employer with confirmation of their parental leave dates.
Concurrent leave notice:
Employees taking concurrent leave (ie. both parents taking leave at the same time) are required to provide their employer with 10 weeks' notice of their first period of concurrent leave. 4 weeks' notice is required to be provided for subsequent periods of concurrent leave.
Source and additional information: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/maternity-and-parental-leave/applying-for-parental-leave
Employees on unpaid parental leave are entitled to 10 Keeping In Touch days during their first 12 months of parental leave, without it impacting their unpaid parental leave entitlement.
Keeping in Touch days are a good way for employees on parental leave to stay up to date with their workplace, refresh their skills, and assist their return to work.
An employee is entitled to receive their standard wage for each day, or part day.
Source and additional information: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/maternity-and-parental-leave/when-on-parental-leave/keeping-in-touch-days
An employee on unpaid parental leave is entitled to return to the job they left prior to commencing their parental leave (if they were performing a 'safe job' prior to their parental leave, they are entitled to return to the role they were in prior to the transfer to the
This applies even if another person has been completing the job during the period of unpaid parental leave.
After taking parental leave, parents returning to work are entitled to submit a request for flexible working arrangements.
Source and additional information: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/maternity-and-parental-leave/returning-to-work-from-parental-leave
Most company's will have a Parental Leave policy - be sure to check the policy for your company to see exactly what your entitlements are, and what you are required to do.