There is an important development in employment law occurred on 13 June 2023. It extends the time frame to allow a claim of sexual harassment in the workplace from the standard 90 days to 12 months.
An amendment to the Holiday Act to include parent-teacher interview leave has had its first reading in Parliament.
This Bill, if passed in its draft form, will allow workers with children to take paid leave to attend parent-teacher interviews during the employee’s normal working hours.
The worker will become entitled to the leave from their first day of work and may take up to 4 hours’ leave in each 12-month period of current continuous employment. Unused leave will not be carried forward nor paid out on termination of employment. The employee will be paid for each hour of parent-teacher interview leave, calculated as a pro rata proportion of the employee’s relevant daily pay or average daily pay.
Parent-teacher interview means a meeting between a parent and a teacher about a child’s learning progress; but does not include a meeting between a parent and a teacher about a disciplinary matter relating to a child.
The Bill’s general policy statement is:
Parent-teacher interviews are an important opportunity for parents to discuss their child’s academic progress. They are one of the few opportunities for these crucial discussions.
The growing trend of insecure and casualised work is making it particularly difficult for parents in these employment arrangements to take leave. It is important to ensure all parents have the opportunity to attend parent-teacher interviews.
This Bill will benefit parents, their children, and employers by ensuring parents can attend interviews about their children’s educational performance held during their normal working hours in a structured way that does not unduly burden employers.
It is expected the Bill will come into force towards the end of the year or early next year.