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This is a letter asking an employer for parental leave.
This letter can be used for any situation in which parental leave is being requested. In Australia, all employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months may be eligible for parental leave. This may include casual employees, provided that they have been working for their employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months, and have a reasonable expectation that they would have continued to work for the employer on a regular and systematic basis, had it not been for the birth of their child. Parental leave may be requested by an employee who is pregnant, by an employee whose spouse or de facto partner is pregnant, or by an employee who is proposing to adopt a child. Some parents may also be eligible for paid parental leave under the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme. Further information is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
How to use this document
This letter formalises a request for parental leave off to an employer. Whether or not verbal approval has already been given, it is still important to make sure the official request is in writing.
The letter is in two parts. The first part is to be provided to the employer at least 10 weeks before starting leave, unless it is not practicable to do so.
The second part is to be provided to the employer at least 4 weeks before starting leave, unless it is not practicable to do so. It provides confirmation that the dates of leave (as requested in the first instance) are still appropriate, or advises of any changes to the dates of leave (for example, if the expected pregnancy date has changed).
In this letter, address and header information will be entered for both the sender and the recipient. Information about the pregnancy will be entered, such as the due date. Finally, the leave request information will be entered, such as start and end dates of the leave.
In some cases, the employer may request additional documentation, such as a doctor's note, after the letter is sent.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the National Employment Standards apply to most employment situations in Australia. Parental leave and related entitlements are handled under that legislation.
In addition, the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Cth) entitles some employees to government funded paid parental leave. This may apply on top of any paid parental leave provided by the employer.
However, in addition, many employment situations are also governed by modern awards or enterprise agreements. If such an award or agreement applies, then that will set out some additional minimum standards with which the employer must comply.
General principles of contract law, as provided by the common law, will also apply to any employment contract.
Further information about maternity and parental leave generally, and about paid parental leave is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
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