Parents and families

Employees who are pregnant, or have parental or caring responsibilities, can often take leave or request to set up flexible arrangements to help balance their work and family.

Pregnancy in the workplace

Find information about pregnancy and the workplace at our Entitlements while pregnant page, including:

  • leave during pregnancy
  • safe jobs
  • directing employees to start parental leave
  • protection from discrimination.

Parental leave

Eligible employees can take parental leave in relation to the birth or adoption of a child.

Find information about parental leave (including maternity leave) after having or adopting a child in our Parental leave section:

Tip: Use our parental leave templates

Download our free templates to help manage parental leave.

Balancing work and family

Workplace flexibility allows employers and employees to make arrangements that suit both parties.

Learn more about:

Example: Flexible work hours to pick up children from daycare or school

Daniel has been working full-time for Gwynn for over 12 months. He has a daughter in daycare and wants some flexibility on his work hours so he can share daycare drop off and pick-up with his partner.

Daniel sends Gwynn a written request to work from home one day a week and start later on his office days. Gwynn lets him know that she will respond to his request within the required 21 days.

Gwynn agrees to Daniel’s request for flexible working arrangements. This arrangement lets Daniel meet his work responsibilities while sharing the parenting load with his partner.

Tip: Use our flexible working arrangements templates

Download our free Flexible working arrangements templates to help with flexible working arrangement requests.

Taking leave

Employees have several leave entitlements, including:

Example: Taking annual leave during school holidays

Debbie is a receptionist at a small accounting firm. She works full-time and has children in primary school.

Debbie asks for 2 full weeks of annual leave during the winter school holidays. Her employer refuses on operational grounds because it’s the busiest time for the business. However, he agrees to 5 days of leave across 2 weeks.

Debbie accepts her employer’s offer and takes 5 consecutive days of annual leave over the 2-week period.

Workplace issues for parents and families

Parents in the workplace can’t be disadvantaged because of their family responsibilities or pregnancy.

Find out more about:

Example: Breastfeeding in the workplace

Jane works at a small local factory and returns from parental leave when her son is 5 months old.

Jane expresses breast milk during her lunch break in the break room.

Jane’s colleagues repeatedly make offensive comments about expressing breast milk at work.

Jane raises her concerns with her employer, Maria. Maria checks and realises that Jane is experiencing workplace bullying and harassment. Marie immediately begins disciplinary action against the employees making the comments and also implements:

  • a private, suitably equipped room where an employee may express milk
  • an information session on bullying and harassment and breastfeeding entitlements for the whole team.

Tools and resources

Related information

Have a workplace problem?

Problems can happen in any workplace. If you have a workplace problem, we have tools and information to help you resolve it.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

Help for small business