Q. We have an employee who is taking unpaid parental leave in September for two weeks so that he can be with the child as they settle into their new school. The employee has told us that he took unpaid parental leave at his previous employment. Do we need to take this into account?
A: Unpaid parental leave is an employment right that does impact payroll, as it means adjusting earnings for the pay period. The employee is entitled to 18 weeks for each child up to the age of 18, taken in weekly blocks capped at 4 weeks per year. Noting, with reference to your question, that the entitlement is per child, not per employment.
So, yes, you do need to consider the unpaid parental leave taken at a previous employment to ensure the employee does not exceed their statutory entitlement (the 18 weeks per child up to their 18th birthday).