Other leave entitlements during parental leave

Changes to the Australian Government Parental Leave Pay Scheme

From 1 July 2020, eligible employees can split their Parental Leave Pay (PLP) so they take it over 2 periods within 2 years.

Employees are able to claim PLP for 1 set period and 1 flexible period. The first period of PLP is available for up to 12 continuous weeks, within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child. The second period of PLP is flexible and available for up to 30 days, usually starting after the first period ends and finishing within 24 months of a child’s birth or adoption.

To learn more, go to Changes to the Parental Leave Pay Scheme.

Accumulating leave during parental leave

An employee doesn't accumulate any type of paid leave while they're on unpaid parental leave. This includes paid leave such as annual leave or sick leave.

Paid leave also doesn't accumulate when an employee is getting the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave Scheme payments, if the person is taking unpaid leave from their employer at this time.

Paid leave may accumulate when an employee is on employer-funded paid parental leave.

Taking other leave during parental leave

During unpaid parental leave employees can take:

  • accumulated annual leave 
  • long service leave if the law in the state or territory allows it.

If there's a public holiday during the annual leave, it won't be paid. 

Employees on paid or unpaid parental leave (including employees taking annual leave during unpaid parental leave) can't take:

  • sick leave or carer's leave
  • compassionate leave. 

Example: Taking annual leave during unpaid parental leave

Maggie is about to take 12 months unpaid parental leave. She wants to take some annual leave during her parental leave so she has income in the later months of her unpaid leave.

She agrees with her employer to take 4 weeks annual leave in her ninth month of unpaid parental leave. These 4 weeks don't extend Maggie's unpaid parental leave period. Instead, they will run at the same time.

There's a public holiday during Maggie's annual leave. She won't be on annual leave for the public holiday and won't get paid for it. She agrees with her employer to extend her period of annual leave by 1 day, so she still gets paid for 4 weeks of leave. 

Need help resolving workplace issues about pregnancy, parental leave and returning to work?

For employees:

If you’ve lost your job, contact the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) first if you think you were sacked because of:

  • discrimination
  • a reason that is harsh, unjust or unreasonable
  • another protected right.

You have 21 days from the day you were sacked to lodge an application with the Commission. Check the information at the Commission website to find out if you can apply for:

For employees and employers:

  • Find information, downloadable guides and toolkits on pregnancy, parental leave and parents in the workplace on the Supporting working parents external-icon.png website. 
  • Learn about discrimination and bullying and harassment and what can be done to stop it.
  • If you think a mistake has been made about pay, parental leave or returning to work, see our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:
    • figuring out if a mistake has been made
    • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
    • getting help from us if you still can’t resolve it.

Help for small business

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