Your workplace rights and how to make the most of them: an employees guide

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Workers' health and safety

Telling your employer that you are extending your initial period of unpaid parental leave from e. At least 4 weeks before your expected date of return. This is a right under the Fair Work Act and cannot be refused by your employer. Requesting an extension to unpaid parental leave beyond the initial 12 months e. At least 4 weeks before the end of the initial 12 month unpaid parental leave period.

This request must be in writing. Your employer must respond to this request within 21 days.

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Not eligible for unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act : Where an employee is not entitled to unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act, anti-discrimination laws still apply. The eligibility rules for these payments are different to the criteria for unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act. This means that sometimes an employee will receive payment under the Paid Parental Leave scheme even if they are not eligible for unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act. Keep in touch: You can work up to 10 days during unpaid parental leave without ending the parental leave period and formally returning to work.


The days are paid at your usual rate of pay and are designed to assist you to keep in touch with your employer while you are on leave to facilitate your return to employment after the leave. Keeping in touch days could include attending an annual planning day, important training sessions or regular informal catchups. Your employer must consult with you if there are any significant changes to your job while you are on parental leave.

Your employment contract

Guarantee : If you are entitled to unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act, you have the right at the end of that leave to return to your pre-parental leave position. This is known as the return to work guarantee. If you have taken a negotiated period of leave over the birth of your child, outside of the Fair Work Act entitlements, it may be discriminatory if your employer refuses to allow you to return to your pre-leave position. Flexible work arrangement : Under the Fair Work Act, employees who have completed at least 12 months of continuous service with their employer immediately before making the request and who have responsibility for the care of a child who is of school age or younger may request a flexible working arrangement.

Casual employees are entitled to make a request in circumstances where they are a long term casual employee of the employer i.

Breastfeeding : You have a right to breastfeed or express and store breast milk at work. Breastfeeding is a protected ground of discrimination. Failure to provide adequate facilities may constitute discrimination and a breach of work health and safety laws.

Also, failure to allow you to have breaks to facilitate breastfeeding or expressing milk may constitute discrimination. While employers can decide to terminate your employment, or make your position redundant while you are pregnant, on parental leave, or after returning to work from parental leave, they must be very careful to ensure that your pregnancy, parental leave or family responsibilities is not one of the reasons for that decision. Privacy Policy Disclaimer. Skip to the content Skip to navigation Skip to search.

Employment Standards

Main commission site. Supporting Working Parents. For employees. Secondary menu Quick Guide for Employees Understanding the law Working while pregnant or potentially pregnant Employees and leave Returning to work from leave Commencing and ending employment Assistance and making a complaint. Share page Twitter Facebook. Working Parents: A quick guide to your rights. Download guide PDF Download guide Word This guide is updated as at 1st July You have rights under the Sex Discrimination Act Cth , state and territory anti-discrimination legislation, the Fair Work Act Cth and federal, state or territory work, health and safety legislation.

Relevant laws Anti-discrimination laws Federal, state and territory anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on various grounds including sex, pregnancy, potential pregnancy, breastfeeding and family responsibilities. Fair Work Act The Fair Work Act sets out specific standards for employment, including in relation to pregnant employees, unpaid parental leave and the right to request flexible work arrangements.

Working while pregnant or potentially pregnant Being pregnant does not mean that you cannot continue to make a valuable contribution to the organisation.

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Requesting and going on unpaid parental leave What to do when arranging parental leave : Identify what entitlements you have under the Fair Work Act, your contract of employment and any applicable policy, award or agreement. What to do when requesting a flexible work arrangement : Put your request in writing and explain the flexibility that you require. Remember that flexible work can take many forms — it is not just working part-time.

It can involve reduced hours, changed start and finish times, a 9 day fortnight, different place of work or a combination of these. Consider trialling the flexible arrangement to show your employer that it can work. Please take a minute or two to provide your feedback.

Get ready for Brexit. Agency workers have specific rights from the first day at work. You also need to make checks when you recruit and employ someone.

What is an employee handbook?

You need to register with HMRC so you can pay tax and national insurance for your employees. To help us improve GOV.

It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Skip to main content. UK uses cookies to make the site simpler. Accept cookies. Cookie settings. Part of Get your business ready to employ staff: step by step. Employment status. Print entire guide. Step 1 : Decide what type of employee you need. Check whether you need full time or part time staff Check the different types of employment status. Check how much the National Minimum Wage is Find out how much National Insurance you need to pay for your employees Check how much sick pay your employees are eligible for Check how much you need to pay towards your employee's pension Check how much Maternity Leave you need to pay your employees Check how much Paternity Leave you need to pay your employees.