Applying for Parental Leave? What You Need To Do…

November 19, 2010

So, you’re expecting? Congratulations! What an exciting time! Here are some common things you should do to apply for parental leave.

1. Are You Eligible?

Determine if you’re eligible for up to 12 months unpaid parental leave. Have you been employed continuously by the organisation for at least one year at the time you’re looking to commence parental leave?

Are you full time, part time or have you been a casual for greater than 12 months regular service? If you have responded yes to any of those questions, you should be eligible.

In addition, to determine if you are eligible for paid parental leave, visit the government’s website on eligibility here.

2. What Does Your Organisation’s Parental Leave Policy Say?

Locate and read your organisation’s parental leave policy.

This document normally provides useful information such as eligibility, application process, entitlements (ie organisation paid parental leave if applicable) etc.


3. What Dates Were You Thinking?

Prior to applying for parental leave you should have some ideas of dates in mind.

Speak to your doctor to determine how close you should work to your due date and whether you want to have time off before the due date.

Obviously this date may change due to changing Doctor directions and how you’re feeling at the time. The other matter to confirm here is the length of time you’re looking at taking your parental leave.

You should try and get this as accurate as possible as no doubt your employer will need to make arrangements in your absence.

If you are unsure, perhaps start with 6 months then you can always extend. If you indicate 12 months, your employer may have found a replacement for the entire period.

4. How Do I Apply?

Most, if not all employers will request a confinement letter to confirm your expected due date. In addition, you may be asked to complete a statutory declaration confirming that you are going to be the primary care giver.

Finally there is generally a leave application form, either hard copy or online that will need to be completed.

Speak to your employer when they would like to receive this by.

5. Keep your Employer in the Loop.

As you get closer to the big day, things may change. It is therefore important to keep your Manager and human resources updated. This will be particularly relevant should you return early and if payroll haven’t been informed, you may find you’re not getting paid!

The process of applying for parental leave is generally a straight forward one.

My suggestion would be to start looking into this sooner rather than later, so you can determine your eligibility and also what your employer needs from you to process your leave application.

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