Improvements to parental leave now accessible

Enhancements to paid parental leave were made available for NSW public service employees, including teachers, from 1 October 2022. It expands on the previous provisions introduced in 2021 to provide greater access to paid parental leave, regardless of gender.

For many years Federation, along with other public sector unions, have sought improvements to parental leave, importantly access to paid parental leave. In June 2022 the NSW State Budget announced an expansion of the paid parental leave policy for the NSW public sector (including two ‘bonus weeks’ for one parent) making in total between 14 and 16 weeks of paid leave available to all eligible workers along with paid leave for miscarriage, pre-term birth and fertility treatment.

Federation participated in consultation with the Government through the Public Sector Union Consultative Forum on the draft Public Service Determinations. Two new Determinations have been issued regarding:

Both of these determinations will apply to permanent and temporary employees.

Eligible employees in the public sector with responsibility for care associated with the birth, adoption, altruistic surrogacy or permanent out-of-home care placement of a child on or after 1 October 2022 may have access to 14 weeks of paid parental leave if the leave is associated with: 

  • the birth of a child (or children from a multiple birth) of the employee, the employee’s partner or the employee’s legal surrogate, the adoption of a child (or children) under 18 years of age by the employee or the employee’s partner or the placement of a child (or children) under 18 years of age in permanent out-of-home care with the employee or the employees’ partner; and
  • the employee has or will have responsibility for the care of the child.

Eligible employees may access an additional two weeks of paid parental leave where each parent has exhausted any paid parental leave offered by their employer (single parents will receive the full two weeks of bonus paid parental leave).

Paid parental leave must be taken within the first 24 months from the date of birth, adoption, altruistic surrogacy or permanent out of home care placement.

Special pre-term birth leave will be available in the event of a pre-term birth (prior to 37 weeks). This leave commences from the date the child is born up to the end of 36 weeks. Paid parental leave provisions will apply from the commencement of 37 weeks.

Five days of paid leave will be available for eligible employees in the event of miscarriage (up to 20 weeks gestation) or when undergoing fertility treatment.

To be entitled to the paid parental leave, the date of birth (or adoption) of the child must be on or after 1 October 2022 and the employee must have at least 40 weeks of continuous service prior to the date of birth of the child (or adoption).

For employees with babies born (or adopted) before 1 October 2022 the previous paid parental leave, or paid leave in the event of miscarriage or pre-term birth provisions will continue to apply for a period of 12 months from birth. See:

For babies born prior to 1 October 2022, for the period between 12 months and two years the provisions of the 2016 Teaching Service Determinations will continue to apply:

Members should be aware that due to the short timeline set by the NSW Government to introduce them not all elements of the new provisions as they pertain to the teaching service have been finalised.

Federation will continue to pursue further clarification on these matters and provide information to members as soon as it is available.

If you require assistance please contact Professional Support 1300 654 369.