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Employsure explains the third most common employer complaint.

Parental LeaveAugust 29, 2016

Employsure explains the third most common employer complaint. (Last Updated On: August 30, 2016)

Employsure often hears from employers who have similar complaints or concerns regarding workplace relations. In order to assist employers with understanding their obligations in relation to confusing workplace legislation, we have been addressing these concerns on an ongoing basis and will continue over the coming weeks and months.

Click to read our previous articles featuring common complaints, relating to yearly wage increase and terminating employees.

Today’s article will focus on another common query: what are my obligations to employees returning to work after parental leave?

When an employee has been away from work for parental leave, they are entitled under the Fair Work Act to return to work in the same role they had before they left. They are entitled to return to work in the same capacity, even if their role is being carried out by someone else as a replacement.

If an employee’s job no longer exists when they return from parental leave, then the employee must be offered an alternative role which is nearest in status and pay to the original position held. If the employee’s  role changed due to safety reasons whilst pregnant prior to going on parental leave, they are still entitled to return to their original job.

In some instances, new parents find that when they return to work following parental leave, they wish to modify their hours to allow for greater flexibility.

Any request for flexible working arrangements must be reasonably considered by the employer. An employer may only refuse a request for flexible working arrangements based on reasonable business grounds. These grounds may include the impact on other staff, the cost to the business or the impact on business productivity or efficiency

Recently, a company was fined $16,000 after refusing a female employee’s request to return to work on a part-time basis following her parental leave. The company instead insisted the employee return to work full-time, and informed her that she was not entitled to flexible working arrangements, or additional parental leave. The company was found to have failed to reasonably consider the employee’s request.

Employsure is Australia’s leading workplace relations specialist, and here to help if you have any questions relating to your obligations as an employer. Call us today on 1300 651 415 to speak to a specialist about parental leave, flexible working arrangements and employee entitlements.

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