We have an employee who is on parental leave. She was originally going to have take six months’ leave but subsequently asked for it to be extended for a further six months and provided us with the required four weeks’ notice. She has now changed her mind and wants to come back to work early. Where do we stand as we have already engaged someone else to cover the period of increased absence?
Under the Fair Work Act, where an employee who is on parental leave wants to reduce the period of that leave, it is up to the employer whether they want to agree with the employee’s request or not.
This can be contrasted with the situation where an employee wishes to extend the initial period of parental leave where they have not yet taken the full amount available.
In this situation the employer must accept the employee’s request, providing the employee gives at least four weeks’ written notice. Only one such extension is available under this provision.