Fathers will be able to take most of their baby's first year off work if the mother goes back to work under new Coalition proposals.

Under plans to go before Parliament next year, if a mother is the main breadwinner, she can go back to work after two weeks and the father can claim "flexible parental leave".

The scheme will not come into effect until October 2015.

Under the current system, mothers are legally entitled to 90 per cent of their earnings for the first six weeks after birth. Fathers are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave and mothers can transfer their leave after the first six months.

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