We have an employee who went on 12 months of parental leave. She requested a 12-month extension, which we granted. She is due to return in a couple of months; however, she has advised us that she is pregnant. The employee has asked for another period of parental leave without returning to work in between. Are we legally obliged to approve the second parental leave if she hasn’t returned to work? This would mean the employee is on parental leave for 3–4 years.
For the purposes of unpaid parental leave entitlements governed by the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), there is no requirement for an employee to serve or work a minimum period to take a second period of parental leave.