NSW Government’s paid parental leave is a bundle of joy to new parents

5 Jul 2021

AMA (NSW) has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to allow 14 weeks Paid Parental Leave for public sector employees.

“Paid Parental Leave is important to gender equity and it’s important for families. The AMA has been advocating for this change for a long time,” said AMA (NSW) President, Dr Danielle McMullen.

The change, which comes into effect 1 July 2021, allows public sector employees to take up to 14 weeks paid parental leave in the first 12 months of their child’s life. The new leave policy allows both parents to take two weeks concurrently at the time of birth, adoption, or surrogacy and up to 12 weeks separately to assume primary care duties. While the parent with the primary responsibility for care of the child at the time of birth, adoption or surrogacy was previously allowed 14 weeks, this policy now extends to employees who are the ‘other’ parent.

“It’s a huge win for men, women, and families,” Dr McMullen says.

“Women and men will have more choices in how they care for their child, and it allows for both parents to bond with the child in those crucial first 12 months.”

“This also allows for more equity in the workplace and greater flexibility for women.”

“We need to address the cultural norms that sometimes make it difficult for non-birthing partners, often Dads, to take leave. This won’t happen overnight but putting policies in place that give people options in caring for their children is the first step,” Dr McMullen said.

“Importantly it sends a message from the Government to its employees that they value the benefit of putting in place policies that support women and men, as well as their families.

“In the long run, all of society benefits from policies that support flexibility and allow people to balance work and life commitments,” Dr McMullen said.

The AMA Position Statement on Medical parents and prevocational and vocational training in 2020 available here