‘A modern policy for modern families’: Paid parental leave to be extended to 26 weeks by 2026

Australian families will soon receive an extra six weeks of in a major shake-up designed to get women into work and help households with the cost of living.
An extra fortnight will be added each year until the full 26 weeks is available from July 2026.

By that time, every family with a new baby will be able to access a total of six months paid leave, shared between the two parents.

Families will also have access to more leave and greater flexibility, with paid parental leave able to be taken in blocks between periods of paid work.
Single parents will be able to access all 26 weeks.
The scheme will still maintain “use it or lose it” rules to encourage more fathers and partners to take the paid leave and ensure caring responsibilities are shared more equally.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will make the announcement during a speech to the NSW Labor state conference on Saturday.
Mr Albanese says the paid parental leave reforms will benefit families, improve women’s economic equality, and boost the broader Australian budget.
“Equality for women is at the heart of our vision for a fair go at work. And equality for women will be at the centre of our budget,” Mr Albanese will say.

“Because the full and equal and respectful participation of women in our economy is our nation’s greatest untapped resource.”

The scheme currently provides 18 weeks of paid leave for the primary caregiver and two weeks for a partner.
The prime minister describes the reforms as “a modern policy, for modern families”.
“It delivers more choice, it offers greater security, and it rewards aspiration. And, just like cheaper child care, this is economic reform,” he says.
Mr Albanese says his government views 26 weeks as the baseline or “a national minimum standard”, and expects employers to compete and offer working parents the best possible deal.

More details about the paid parental leave policy will be released in the budget on 25 October.

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