The Labor Government's plan is to extend the requests to not just parents (but yes, mums and dads) but also to carers of people with disabilities, of the elderly, the seriously ill etc which is a great thing.
But unlike the common belief, this is not about "forcing" businesses to do anything they seriously cannot accomodate.
It is about being able to ask for flexibilities, for the employer to 'seriously consider' them and then to no 'unreasonably' refuse a request.
We know many great workplaces that show leadership by proving that flexibilities can be made to accomodate caring needs, BUT bad employers who simply refuse without good reason are a problem.
Most requests are granted, from what is known, and about 10% are refused without real consideration. Its not about 'forcing' employers, just asking for what is reasonable.
The biggest thing is though, right now the law doesn't let someone even 'appeal' the decision, its just ask and if the answer is no, then stiff!
What is needed is an appeal to test whether an employer is being unreasonable in their refusals, and this is what the Government must provide all employees. Otherwise, asking won't change much.