Extending parental leave

Is it possible to extend parental leave?

If you’re a new parent, the prospect of returning to work after your parental leave can be daunting. You might still be trying to establish routines or perhaps it’s difficult to get the childcare you need. If you decide it’s best for your family for you not to return to work at the agreed date, it is possible to request an extension of your leave. You can request a parental leave extension that takes your total amount of leave up to 24 months. The request must be made before your existing return to work date.

Extending parental leave in the first 12 months

If you originally planned to take less than 12 months of parental leave, you are entitled to extend your leave to a total of 12 months, provided you give 4 weeks’ written notice before your leave ends. Any requests to extend beyond 12 months have to be agreed by management.

Extending parental leave beyond 12 months

You can request to extend your parental leave up to a total of 24 months. You need to give at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing (but the earlier the better). This must be before the end of your original leave period.

Be sure to include the reason you’re seeking the extension of parental leave and the new date that you’re seeking to return to work. To see a written example of how to request to extend parental leave, download the PDF fact sheet in the downloads section below.

Your employer has 21 days to provide you with a written response to let you know whether your extension is approved. Your employer does not have to agree to your request but can only refuse on reasonable business grounds.  They must include the reasons for any refusal in their written response. If you need help approaching your boss, or if you believe you’re treated unfairly, contact FSU for advice.

Contact FSU

Contact FSU if you need support through this process. Our active, member-led team continually works to improve conditions across the finance sector. We excel in fighting, negotiating and winning better parental leave entitlements for new and expectant parents. If you’d like to talk to someone about your case, call us on 1300 366 378. Keep in mind that the above information is not tailored to your circumstances.