jmhSome of the changes to the Fair Work Act which came into effect on 1 July 2013 include ‘family friendly’ amendments, such as unpaid parental leave, special maternity leave, and the right to request flexible work.

Parental leave

The following changes have been made to the Fair Work Act:

  • The existing right to request flexible working arrangements has been extended to include employees who are parents of school age children, are carers, have a disability or are over 55 years old. There are also extended provisions in connection with violence from family members.
  • The inclusion of a non-exhaustive list of what constitutes ‘reasonable business grounds’ for refusing requests for part-time work on return from parental leave or a request for flexible working arrangements.
  • The amount of concurrent unpaid parental leave that a couple can take has been increased from 3 weeks to 8 weeks and can now be taken at any time within the first 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child.

Transfer to a safe job

The Fair Work Act is also amended to expand the right for pregnant women to transfer to a safe job to all pregnant employees, even if they have been employed for less than 12 months.

Information Statement

The Fair Work Information Statement — which must be provided to all new employees — is also amended with effect from 1 July 2013, so that it must now include details of the range of circumstances in which an employee may request a change in working arrangements.

The Employment Law team at Everingham Solomons is well equipped to assist you with all your workplace relations issues because Helping You is Our Business.

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