Employees can get parental leave when a child is born or adopted.
Parental leave entitlements include:
- maternity leave
- paternity and partner leave
- adoption leave
- special maternity leave
- a safe job and no safe job leave.
Parental leave is leave that can be taken after:
- an employee gives birth
- an employee’s spouse or de-facto partner gives birth
- an employee adopts a child under 16 years of age.
Employees are entitled to up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. They can also request up to an additional 12 months of leave.
Employees who are taking parental leave to care for an adopted child are also entitled to 2 days unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend relevant interviews or examinations.
This leave can’t be used if an employer tells an employee to take another type of leave (for example, paid annual leave).
All employees in Australia are entitled to parental leave.
Employees are able to take parental leave if they:
- have worked for their employer for at least 12 months:
- before the date or expected date of birth if the employee is pregnant
- before the date of the adoption, or
- when the leave starts (if the leave is taken after another person cares for the child or takes parental leave)
- have or will have responsibility for the care of a child.
For casual employees to be eligible for unpaid parental leave they need to have:
- been working for their employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months
- a reasonable expectation of continuing work with the employer on a regular and systematic basis, had it not been for the birth or adoption of a child.
Having another child
Employees who have taken parental leave don’t have to work for another 12 months before they can take another period of parental leave with that same employer.
Australian Government Parental Leave Pay Scheme
BGB does not have a paid parental scheme, however eligible employees who are the primary carer of a newborn or newly adopted child get up to 18 weeks’ PLP through the Australian Government, which is paid at the National Minimum Wage.
In most cases, the Australian Government makes PLP payments to the employer, who then pays the employee.
Employees can use PLP before, after or at the same time as their paid and unpaid entitlements such as annual leave, long service leave and unpaid parental leave.
For information about eligibility, making a claim and sorting out payments, go to Services Australia – Parental Leave Pay .
Dad and Partner Pay
Eligible working dads and partners (including same-sex partners) get 2 weeks leave paid at the National Minimum Wage. These payments are made directly to the employee by the Australian Government.
Visit Services Australia – Dad and Partner Pay for information about eligibility and making a claim for Dad and Partner Pay.
Unpaid Parental Leave
Employees who want to take unpaid parental leave need to give their employer notice that they are taking leave and confirm the dates.
If an employee can’t give the appropriate notice (for example, the baby is born prematurely), they will still be entitled to take the leave as long as they provide notice as soon as possible.
10 weeks before starting leave
An employee has to give notice to their employer at least 10 weeks before starting their unpaid parental leave. This notice needs to be in writing, and say how much leave they want to take, including the starting and finishing dates.
If an employee can’t give 10 weeks’ notice, they need to provide as much notice as possible.
4 weeks before starting leave
An employee has to confirm their parental leave dates with their employer at least 4 weeks before they are due to start their leave. If there have been any changes to the dates the employee should tell their employer as soon as possible.
If an employee can’t provide 4 weeks’ notice, they need to provide as much notice as possible.
Pre-adoption leave notice
Employees who are taking pre-adoption leave have to give their employer notice that they are taking leave as soon as possible (this can be after the leave has started). They should also tell their employer how long they expect to be on leave.
Employers can ask employees for evidence of the expected date of birth or of the date of placement of an adopted child, for example a medical certificate or statutory declaration.
An employer can specifically ask for a medical certificate from their employee giving the expected date of birth. Employers can also ask for evidence to support pre-adoption leave.
If an employee doesn’t provide the evidence their employer asks for, they won’t be entitled to the leave.