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Parental leave provides working parents the flexibility to combine work and cope effectively with child care or welcome an adopted child into a family.

Unlike other parenting-related leave, employers are not legally required to pay workers taking parental leave, so many do not. 

Union reps have a key role in improving the basic rights for parental leave by negotiating with the employer to include pay for some or all of the parental leave.

But know your facts first. Know what the statutory rights for parents are, get a copy of the employer’s current parental agreement (if they have one) and, most importantly, find out what working parents want.

Armed with this information you will be in a far better position to persuade your employer that improved parental leave provision will benefit both workers and the organisation itself.

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