Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14929

Employment

Dear Chair

Thank you for your correspondence, originally directed to the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Families and Social Services, concerning petition number EN0738, requesting the introduction of aged parental leave in federal legislation. Your correspondence has been referred to me as I have responsibility for this matter.

The Australian Government is committed to helping Australians to balance their work and caring responsibilities. Under the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009, eligible employees with at least 12 months' continuous service with their employer may request flexible working arrangements. Eligible employees include carers (as defined under the Carer Recognition Act 2010) and employees aged 55 or older. Employers who receive a request must provide a written response within 21 days and may refuse a request only on reasonable business grounds.

An employer who receives a request for flexible working arrangements from an employee whose employment conditions are set by a Modern Award is also required to genuinely try to reach agreement with the employee by discussing their request with them. If the employer cannot agree to the employee's request, the employer must consider alternative arrangements that the employer can offer the employee so as to better accommodate the employee's circumstances. Further information is available on the Fair Work Ombudsman's website at www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/flexibility-in-the-workplace/flexible-working-arrangements.

Personal/carer's leave is also available under the National Employment Standards to employees who need time off work to provide care or support for a member of their immediate family or household who requires support because of a personal illness, or personal injury affecting the member or an unexpected emergency affecting the member. Permanent full-time employees are entitled to 10 days' paid personal/carer's leave each year (pro-rated for part-time employees) which accumulates from year to year. All employees, including casuals, are entitled to unpaid carer's leave of two days per occasion. The National Employment Standards are a minimum entitlement and employers and employees may agree on additional carer's leave entitlements.

The Government is also providing more choices for older Australians to live healthier, more independent and safer lives, so they can take advantage of the opportunities that a longer life brings. In the 2018-19 Budget, the Government announced the More Choices for a Longer Life package. This package provides a range of measures including increased funding for home care to support older people who want to stay at home. More information on these measures is available at www.budget.gov.au.

I hope this information will be of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

from the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, Ms O'Dwyer(Petition No. EN0738)