Parental Leave

These days more and more parents find themselves in the paid workforce, so it is important to know your rights regarding maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

Parental Leave is the term used to describe maternity, paternity and adoption leave provided for employees in connection with the birth or adoption of a child.

The following information represents the minimum entitlements available to parents. Some workplace agreements have provisions which extend some of these entitlements. Please contact the SDA to find out your entitlements for your specific circumstances.

NOTE: * Denotes areas where there may be some variation.

Maternity Leave is unpaid* leave which a mother is entitled to take before, during and after the birth of her baby.

A total of at least 52 weeks* is available to a woman who has 12 months* continuous service with the same employer.

Paternity Leave is unpaid leave for male employees.

At least 52 weeks* is available, of which one week* may be taken at the time of the birth.

Paternity leave is reduced by any maternity leave taken for the same child, i.e. the total combined amount of maternity and paternity leave available for each family. Generally leave may not be taken at the same time except for one week* at the time of the birth.

For some employees concurrent leave for both partners is available.

Adoption Leave is unpaid leave available to both men and women in the case of an adoption of a child under five years of age.

At least 52 weeks* of this leave is available to the parent who assumes the principal role of providing care and attention to the adopted child.

Parents can take up to three weeks at the time of placement, with the balance to be taken by one parent or shared between both parents.

These days many parents have to juggle their work and family responsibilities, so it is important to know your rights regarding parental leave.

Check your agreement/award for your specific entitlements.

Click here  for the SDA Parental Leave brochure for more information, FAQ’s and for sample letters to give to your employer.

Click here to view the Paid Parental brochure.  



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