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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 23 No 1 (2005) Work, Family and the Law

Parental Leave in Australia: The Role of the Industrial Relations System

Marian Baird is a Senior Lecturer in work and Organisational Studies in the School of Business, University of Sydney.

To date, the industrial relations system has provided an important, although at times gendered, vehicle for the provision of parental leave entitlements for Australian workers. This chapter traces the impact of test cases as well as awards and enterprise agreements on the pro­vision of maternity and paternity leave. Consideration is also given to parental leave in Australian Workplace Agreements and in company policies. Based on this evidence, it is concluded that Australia still has some way to go in improving parental leave entitlements for all workers. However, the combination of proposals to change Australian industrial relations, to legislate for unpaid parental leave only and to further individualise bargaining does not auger well for future develop­ments.

(2005) Volume 23 No 1 Law in Context 45

   
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