Handshake in office. One of the women is pregnant

Supporting working parents: a toolkit for employers

Supporting pregnant employees, employees on parental leave and working parents makes great business sense because it helps:

  • Improve retention of employees;
  • Attract new talent;
  • Improve business productivity;
  • Foster a positive organisational culture;
  • Promote  diversity and innovation and
  • Improve compliance with legal obligations

This toolkit is a practical guide for employers. It promotes understanding of the laws relating to pregnant employees, employees on parental leave and working parents. These laws include the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), state or territory anti-discrimination legislation, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and federal, state and territory work health and safety legislation. These laws apply to most workplaces in Australia.

Steps to set your business up to succeed:

  • Understand your legal obligations.
  • Communicate openly and genuinely.
  • Recognise that discrimination can be unintentional and based on assumptions.
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that everyone in your organisation is aware of their obligations.
  • Ensure managers are well informed about the entitlements of pregnant employees, those on parental leave and those returning to work from parental leave.
  • Ensure policies and procedures are fair and transparent.
  • Monitor the implementation of policies.

This toolkit is the result of extensive consultation with business and has been developed in close collaboration with all relevant government departments and agencies.

This project would not have been possible without the generous support of PwC.

For a summary of this document, see the Employer Quick Guide.

General disclaimer: Employers are advised that this toolkit provides general information only. It is not legally binding and should not be used as a substitute to individual legal advice.

Up to date as of July 2015.