A big win for Parental Leave


Big Win for Working Police Parents; Paid Parental Leave Extension for ALL parents


The PANSW is proud to inform members that a very important upgrade to your parental leave entitlements and arrangements for all parents has been secured.

Our members have been asking for these improvements and changes since the 2016 PANSW Biennial Conference when motions were passed seeking better entitlements for all parents (including fathers) and the ability to share the family responsibility/leave.  

Since then, the PANSW has secured Surrogacy Leave in 2019 and has further worked with other state-based unions and Unions NSW advocating that parental leave entitlements be extended to all parents through the Public Sector Union Consultative Forum at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. 

The NSW state government has agreed to improve parental leave entitlements from 1 July for any baby born after 1 July 2021.

The new arrangements are as follows:

Paid Parental Leave (Primary parent at the time of birth, adoption, or surrogacy)

  • 14 weeks paid leave at full pay or 28 weeks on half pay
  • Must be taken in the first 12 months from birth.
  • 52 weeks of unpaid leave, which can be taken over 2-year period

Paid Parental leave, Other Parent

  • 2 weeks paid leave at the time of birth
  • 12 weeks additional paid leave if and when they assume primary carer responsibility
  • Can be taken at the full rate of pay of half pay
  • Must be taken in the first 12 months from birth.

The condition for the other parent to be entitled to 12 weeks of paid parental leave is that they assume primary responsibility for the care of the child. It is expected that the primary parent at that time will return to work (either in a full-time or part-time arrangement) within 12 months from birth.

This arrangement shall operate across the Government and Public Sectors for parents who work for different agencies. More importantly, it will apply to those police officers whose partners work in the private sector and have limited or no paid parental leave from their employer (Commonwealth paid parental leave applicable). For example, if the other parent works in the NSWPF and primary parent works in private sector, the primary parent will be able to go back to work and the other parent be able to then take 12 weeks of paid leave (further 12 weeks part of the entitlement).

This arrangement shall apply from 1 July 2021. Unfortunately, for parents and carers of children born or adopted before this date, this arrangement shall not apply, current leave entitlements remaining available (parental leave of one week paid at the time of birth then the option to apply for unpaid leave thereafter).

In pushing for these changes the PANSW has provided a submission on the proposed arrangements and has sought several improvements and clarification to ensure that the operation of this clause is smooth and effective for police officers.

We have been informed that the entitlement will be extended by way of a Premier’s Memorandum and that the Police Award will be varied at a later stage to include the improved entitlements.

In the 2021-22 Budget delivered by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on 22 June, it was also announced that starting in July the Government will offer additional premature-birth leave for NSW public sector employees, so that parental leave will not start until the day the baby would have reached full term.

The PANSW continues to work to improve your entitlements and working conditions. We thank all the members and delegates who have contributed to this outcome.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the PANSW Information Organising Centre via email info@pansw.org.au or phone (02) 9265 6777.

This article was first published on 22 June 2021. 

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