Flexible working arrangements passed by the Assembly will promote gender equality, the Employment and Learning Minister said.
The Work and Families Bill will introduce new rights for working parents, allowing leave and pay entitlement to be shared following a birth or adoption of a child.
Parents will be able to choose whether to be at home together or work at different times and share childcare.
Minister Stephen Farry said: "There are factors regarding retention and progression of women in the workplace.
"In turn this will have long-term benefits for employers as the best employees become better able to achieve their full potential by remaining attached to the workplace."
The right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees who have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more.
Mr Farry said he believed the new rules would allow staff to have a better work-life balance.