Parental Leave

Parental leave ensures that parents can take time away from work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child, secure in the knowledge that they still have a job to return to.

Parental leave is available only under certain conditions, so it is important that you know your rights and responsibilities regarding parental leave.

The SDA works extremely hard, not only to maintain, but to improve, parental leave rights for our members.

What is Parental Leave?

Parental Leave

Is the term used to describe unpaid parental leave (which in the past was more commonly known as maternity, paternity and adoption leave), provided for employees in connection with the birth or adoption of a child. Parental leave provisions also recognise same-sex and de facto relationships.

Employer Paid Parental Leave

Refers to payments made by some employers to employees who qualify for a company's own Paid Parental Leave scheme. If your employer has such a scheme, it is important that you contact the SDA or your employer for further information, as each employer's scheme varies significantly.

Governments Paid Parental Leave Scheme

Refers to the 18-week payment to eligible employee who will be the primary carer in connection with the birth or adoption of a child under the age of 16 at the National Minimum Wage. It is separate to a company's Paid Parental Leave scheme, although an employer will normally act as the paymaster.

Dad and Partner Pay

Is a new payment for dads or partners caring for a new child (including adopting parents and same-sex couples) available under the Governments Paid Parental Leave scheme. If you are an eligible dad or partner, you can get up to 2 weeks of government-funded pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage when you're on unpaid leave from work or are not working.

Unpaid Parental Leave

Unpaid parental leave entitles an eligible employee, following the birth of an eligible child, to take leave to care for the child. This may be either parent and may change over the course of the parental leave period. However the leave must be continuous.

More Info

The SDA's Parental Leave information booklet if freely available to all SDA members. To get a copy of the booklet, or should you have any further questions, contact the SDA.

SDA's Parental Leave booklet can answer question like:

  • How much parental leave am I entitled to?
  • How do I make a request for further period of up to 12 months parental leave?
  • Are all employees entitled to parental leave?
  • Are casuals entitles to parental leave?
  • How do I apply for parental leave?
  • Can I take annual or long service leave in conjunction with parental leave?
  • Can my partner and I take parental leave at the same time?
  • Can I extend my parental leave?
  • What if my baby is stillborn, dies or I cease to have responsibility for the care of the child while I am on parental leave?
  • Can I shorten my parental leave?
  • Can my employer appoint a replacement employee while I am on parental leave?
  • Can I resign while I am on parental leave?
  • Can I be dismissed because I am on parental leave?
  • What are 'Keeping in Touch Days'?
  • What if my employer decides to make changes at work while I am on unpaid parental leave?
  • What are the procedures for returning to work after parental leave?
  • When I return from parental leave, am I entitle to my original position?
  • What happens if I return from parental leave and my original job no longer exists?
  • After taking parental leave, can I temporarily transfer my employment from full-time to part-time or change other working arrangements?
  • Is unpaid parental leave counted as part of continuous service for accrual of leave?
  • Do I have to complete another 12 months of service before I can take parental leave again?
  • How does parental leave affect my superannuation fund's insurance cover?
  • If my job poses a hazard to my health during pregnancy, can I request a transfer to a safe job?
  • What is pre-natal leave?
  • How much notice do I have to give of pre-natal appointments?
  • What happens if I suffer from a pregnancy-related illness while I'm pregnant and still working?
  • What happens if I have a miscarriage?
  • Am I required to take parental leave?
  • Can I take leave to handle adoption procedures?
  • What happens if the placement of the adopted child does not proceed?
  • Should I choose the Parental Leave Pay or the Baby Bonus?