Extended parental leave

An employee who takes unpaid parental leave under the National Employment standards is entitled to ask his or her employer to agree to an extension of unpaid parental leave for a further period of 12 months immediately following the end of the available parental leave period (Fair Work Act 2009, sec 76) The request must be in writing and must be provided to the employer at least 4 weeks before the end of the available parental leave period. Like flexible work arrangements, the request can only be declined by an employer on reasonable business grounds but the employee is not entitled to extend the period of unpaid parental leave beyond 24 months after the date of birth of the child.