Want to extend your parental leave? Have you set your return to work date with your manager but need more time? Use this template to request to extend your parental leave arrangement.
Under the National Employment Standards, eligible employees in Australia are entitled to 12 months’ unpaid parental leave. If you’re an employee on parental leave, you can also request to extend your unpaid leave. The amount of time you can extend your leave depends on the original leave period. In any case, you must give your employer four weeks’ written notice.
- If you planned to take less than 12 months of unpaid parental leave, the total period, with the extension, can’t be more than 12 months. Extending leave up to the end of the first 12 month period (e.g. from nine to 12 months) is your right under the Fair Work Act and cannot be refused by your employer. You can request a further extension of up to an additional 12 months, however this has to be agreed between you and your employer.
- If you have already taken 12 months of unpaid parental leave, the total period, with the extension, can’t be more than 24 months from the date of birth or placement of the child. Your employer must respond to this request within 21 days.
An extension has to be taken straight after the original unpaid parental leave period.
For full details about extending your parental leave, your entitlements and obligations, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman site.
For details of the changes to the Australian Government Parental Leave Pay Scheme, which took effect on 1 July 2020, see our post: Government Paid Parental Leave: How do I claim?
Private and confidential
Dear [insert manager’s name]
RE: Request for extension to my parental leave arrangement
As you know, I am due to return from parental leave on [insert date].
I am requesting to extend this leave by [insert number of weeks] weeks, so that my new return to work date will be [insert date].
I am happy to meet with you to discuss my request further.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Source: Fair Work Ombudsman
It’s fantastic that you’re considering extending your leave! Here are some helpful resources to to get you through the next few months.