Queensland nurses among those to receive reproductive health leave

Reproductive leave will be offered to Queensland Government employees from later this year, under a new measure due to help thousands.
Queensland reproductive leave

Public sector workers in Queensland will have access to 10 days of annual reproductive health leave, the State Government has announced.

It means Government staff, including nurses, teachers, and firefighters, will have access to paid leave for issues including chronic health conditions, cancer screenings and fertility treatment.

Reproductive leave will be in addition to pre-existing personal leave entitlements.

The initiative is the first of its kind in Australia and will come into effect by September.

Queensland reproductive leave

The Government said 265,000 Queensland public service workers would be covered by the policy.

Workers can use 10 days of reproductive health leave per year. The leave won’t accumulate over time, meaning workers can’t ‘bank’ more than 10 days over several years.

The leave can be used for things like endometriosis, IVF treatment, and surgical procedures such as vasectomies and hysterectomies.

Parental leave

From July, Queensland public sector workers will also receive superannuation payments on unpaid parental leave.

It’s currently only offered for paid parental leave.

This was designed to limit the gender superannuation pay gap and ensure mothers aren’t unfairly disadvantaged by caring for newborns.

Data up to 2021 showed a 20% gap between the superannuation balances of men and women in Queensland.

Reproductive leave in Australia

Queensland is the first state in Australia to provide public sector workers with 10 days of reproductive health leave.

A similar initiative was negotiated in Victoria last month, allowing public servants an extra five days of sick leave for menstruation, menopause and other reproductive health issues.

Leave entitlements for workers in the private sector are legislated at a federal level, and detailed in Australia’s national employment standards. The standards don’t include leave for reproductive health.

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