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Permanent employees, fixed-term employees and some eligible casual employees are entitled to parental leave (see Eligibility below).
This policy describes the different types of parental leave you are entitled to, how long your leave lasts, and your responsibilities while on leave.
Information on paid parental leave for Australian Government employees can be found on the Family Assistance Office website.
Before applying for leave we encourage you to contact the Human Resources Management Branch about your available leave credits.
To be eligible for the full 52 weeks Parental Leave you must have been employed in the State Service:
* An eligible casual employee is someone employed during a period of at least 12 months either on a regular and systematic basis for several periods of employment, or on a regular and systematic basis for an ongoing period of employment, and who has a reasonable expectation of ongoing employment.
Contact the HRM Branch if you are unsure of your status.
After 12 months continuous service, parents are entitled to a combined period of up to 52 weeks unpaid parental leave when they have or adopt a child. Before applying for leave we encourage you to contact the HRM Branch to discuss your available leave credits.
Parental leave is only available to one parent at a time in a single unbroken period; however, both parents are entitled to simultaneous parental leave at the time of birth. The partner not giving birth is entitled to a period of leave up to three weeks, which includes one day of paid leave to attend the birth.
For adoption leave, at the time of placement of the child both partners are entitled to an unbroken period of up to three weeks. Unpaid simultaneous parental leave may be taken to help you to deal with work and parenting responsibilities. This type of leave can also be extended (see the Extending Parental Leave section below).
You may use any recreation and/or long service leave entitlements available to you instead of, or in conjunction with, parental leave – but the total leave may not exceed 52 weeks.
If you take paid leave during your parental leave period, your normal entitlements such as sick, recreation and long service leave will continue to accrue.
Periods of unpaid parental leave longer than 20 days are regarded as leave without pay and will not count as service for any purpose; but they do not break your continuity of service.
To help you to deal with work and parenting responsibilities you may request to:
Such a request would only be refused on reasonable grounds, for example if it would affect the workplace or business. Such grounds might include cost, lack of adequate replacement staff, loss of efficiency and the impact on customer service.
After 12 months continuous service, female employees are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks (12 months) leave including a period of 12 weeks paid leave.
You are entitled to up to 52 weeks maternity leave in total, regardless of whether you include in this period other types of paid leave such as long service leave or recreation leave.
If your partner is taking Parental Leave – regardless of for whom they work– your maternity leave will be reduced by the amount of time they have taken off work (except in the case of Simultaneous Parental Leave).
Maternity leave should start six weeks before and continue for six weeks after the expected date of birth. This can be shortened on production of a medical certificate stating that you are fit for normal duties.
You need to give four weeks notice of the date your maternity leave begins and the period of leave to be taken.
You must also provide a certificate from a registered medical practitioner at least 10 weeks before the expected date of birth stating that you are pregnant.
Your application for maternity leave should include particulars of any period of paternity leave sought or taken by your partner.
If illness, health risks or hazards connected with work make it inadvisable for you to continue your present work while pregnant you may be transferred to a ‘safer’ job until maternity leave commences. If transfer to a safer job is not possible you may elect, or be required, to commence leave early in accordance with the advice of a registered medical practitioner.
If you suffer a pregnancy-related illness or have to undergo a pregnancy-related medical procedure before you begin maternity leave you will be granted any paid personal leave to which you are entitled and further unpaid special maternity leave that is necessary before you return to work.
If you are unwell and take time off right up until you begin your scheduled maternity leave, your maternity leave period will be deemed to have started on the date you first left work.
If your pregnancy terminates other than by the birth of a living child within 20 weeks of the expected date of birth you are entitled to up to 52 weeks parental leave, including 12 weeks paid maternity leave, if deemed necessary by a registered medical practitioner.
After 12 months continuous service employees are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks (12 months) unpaid paternity leave, including one day of paid leave to attend the birth of the child.
At least 10 weeks before starting paternity leave you must notify the department of your intentions and provide the following information:
If you are adopting a child you are eligible for a maximum of 52 weeks (12 months) Adoption Leave including a period of 12 weeks paid adoption leave only if:
You may be entitled to two days or more leave without pay (as agreed with the department) before taking custody for the purpose of interviews and relocation of the child.
When you return to work you are entitled to resume the duties you were responsible for immediately before you took leave. If those duties no longer exist you will be assigned similar duties at the same classification.
If, because of your pregnancy, you were moved to safer duties or changed to part-time work before you took leave, you are entitled to resume the work you were doing before the change occurred.
If you have any questions about your options for returning to work after parental leave please contact the HRM Branch.
You must notify the department at least four weeks before the date you intend to return to full-time work.
If you want to return to work on a part-time basis you must give at least eight weeks notice.
After parental leave you may ask to return to work on a part-time basis until your child reaches school age. Any such request will only be refused on reasonable grounds related to the effects on the workplace or business. Such grounds might include cost, lack of suitable replacement staff, loss of efficiency and effectiveness, the specialised nature of the work and the impact on customer service.
For information about your superannuation while on parental leave contact your superannuation fund. RBF members can go to the Retirement Benefits Fund website www.rbf.com.au or contact their advisory section on 1800 622 631.
You can also obtain hard copies of the RBF Leave Without Pay brochure from the HRM Branch.
If your workplace changes considerably while you are on leave, the department will take reasonable steps to let you know if the changes are likely to affect you. The department will also give you the opportunity to discuss any effects the change might have on your level of responsibility or duties.
You should inform the Department of any matters that will affect your return to work, including changes to the duration of your leave, and whether you intend to return on a part-time basis, or indeed whether you intend to return at all.
You must also notify the department of any relevant details such as change of address and other contact details.