Parental and Maternity leave and flexible return to work arrangements

The National Employment Standards provide for parental leave and related entitlements. After taking parental leave, a parent is entitled to request his or her employer to permit the parent to change the work arrangements which existed at the time parental leave was commenced (the parent’s normal working arrangements) to be more flexible.
This entitlement does not arise from the NES which provides for parental leave, but rather from sec 65 of the Fair Work Act 2009 itself which grants this right to an employee who is a parent, or has responsibility for the care of a child.
The flexible work arrangement sought must have the objective of assisting the employee to care for a child where the child is under school age or is under 18 years and has a disability.
This entitlement also applies to other employees inter alia such as people who are carers within the meaning of the Care Recognition Act 2011, employees with a disability or who are aged more than 55 years and employees who are the victims of domestic violence.
The request to the employer must be in writing and here is a link to a useful template to do so.
The employer is obliged to respond within 21 days and is only permitted to refuse the request upon “reasonable business grounds”.
In my next blog I will discuss what constitutes “reasonable business grounds”.,d.dGI,d.dGI