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Adoption-related leave

Last updated November 2023

This chapter explains employee entitlements to adoption-related leave and your related obligations as an employer.

Entitlements to adoption-related leave may be found in:

  • the National Employment Standards (NES);
  • state and territory legislation; or
  • employment instruments.

National Employment Standards (NES)

The minimum statutory entitlements for adoption-related leave are set out in the parental (and related) leave entitlements in the NES of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

Important: NES unpaid parental leave entitlements have changed for children placed for adoption after 1 July 2023.
Tip: This chapter predominantly relates to the NES entitlements.

State and territory legislation

If you employ a non-national system employee, you will need to check the laws operating in your state or territory that make provision for employee entitlements in relation to adoption of children. That is because under the FW Act, these laws will continue to apply to the extent that they make more beneficial provision than the NES provision.