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Division 1: Overview

5.6.3 Summary

  1. Maternity leave is described in full in this Part. This section describes some of its main features.

  2. Maternity leave allows for an absence of 52 weeks. It consists of paid and unpaid leave. New members may not have access to the paid leave component.

    See: Division 2, Maternity leave entitlements

  3. A member who meets the eligibility criteria is entitled to the leave. An application cannot be refused for any reason.

    See: Division 2 section 5.6.12, Overview

  4. Maternity leave includes a period of required absence.

    See: Division 3, Required absence

  5. A member may take recreation leave or long service leave instead of unpaid maternity leave.

    See: Division 2 section 5.6.18, Access to other leave

  6. Unpaid maternity leave is not the same as leave without pay.

    See: Section 5.6.8, Leave without pay and maternity leave

  7. Convalescence may happen at the same time as maternity leave.

    See: Division 3 section 5.6.25, Fitness for duty and the required absence

5.6.4 Definitions

This table defines terms used in this Part.

Definitions
Term Definition in this Part
Birth The birth of a child that happens at one of these times.
  1. Twenty weeks before the expected date of the birth.
  2. Any day that is after the day in paragraph a.
Qualifying service For entitlement to paid maternity leave, a continuous period of 12 months of:
  1. full-time service in the ADF, or
  2. any other employment recognised for the purpose of the Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973, subsection 6 (4).
Note: If a member is not sure whether they have done 12 months qualifying service, the member's unit can seek advice. A written request should be made to the member's Career Management Agency.
Required absence A period of absence under Division 3.
Salary Salary and allowances as if the period were a period of recreation leave.
See:
DFRT Determination No. 2 of 2017, Salaries, section A.1.3, Administration of salary
Part 4 Division 7, 5.4.36, Payment of allowances on recreation leave
Termination An event that results in a pregnancy ending, without the birth of a live child. It must happen at one of these times.
  1. The day that is twenty weeks before the expected date of the birth.
  2. Any day that is after the day in paragraph a.
Examples: Miscarriage, stillbirth, termination.
See also: Section 5.6.7, Termination of pregnancy – overview.

5.6.5 Members this Part applies to

This Part applies to a member whose pregnancy ends by a birth or a termination.

5.6.6 Required absence and maternity leave

  1. Two key concepts in this Part are required absence and maternity leave.

  2. Required absence is the period that a member is required to be away from duty. It usually covers the later stages of pregnancy and the first few weeks after the birth. It can be reduced if the member has medical approval. Maternity leave is granted to cover the period of required absence.

    See: Division 3, Required absence

  3. Maternity leave is leave granted to a member who is pregnant or who has recently given birth. It has paid and unpaid components, for eligible members.

    See: Division 2, Maternity leave entitlements

5.6.7 Termination of pregnancy – overview

  1. Termination is defined in section 5.6.4, Definitions.

  2. If a member's pregnancy terminates 20 weeks or later before the expected date of the birth, the member is entitled to maternity leave.

    Example: A member's expected date of the birth is 1 June. On 9 March she miscarries. This is 12 weeks before the expected date of birth. This event meets the definition of termination. The member is fully entitled to maternity leave, and she must observe the required absence.

  3. If the member's pregnancy terminates earlier than 20 weeks before the expected date of birth, the member is not entitled to maternity leave. If she is unfit for duty, normal fitness for duty arrangements apply.

    Example: A member's expected date of the birth is 1 June. On 6 January she miscarries. This is 21 weeks before the expected date of birth. This event does not meet the definition of termination. The member has no maternity leave entitlement. The member is absent for a time under fitness for duty arrangements, to recover from the miscarriage.

5.6.8 Leave without pay and maternity leave

The unpaid component of maternity leave is a different leave type to leave without pay. The two leave types are both unpaid, but in other respects are quite different. Unpaid maternity leave cannot be refused for any reason. Unpaid maternity leave is administered under this Part.

Example 1: A member falls pregnant while already on unpaid maternity leave. She may be granted a second period of maternity leave.

See: Division 2 section 5.6.17, Second period of maternity leave

Example 2: A member falls pregnant while on leave without pay. Section 5.6.31 prevents her from having access to further maternity leave until her leave without pay has ended.

See: Division 4, Member already on leave without pay

Comparison: Examples 1 and 2 have different outcomes, as unpaid maternity leave and leave without pay are different leave types.

5.6.9 Parental leave and maternity leave

  1. Maternity leave is not available to these members. Parental leave may be available instead.

    1. Fathers of new babies.

    2. Parents of adopted children.

    3. A partner of the person who has given birth.

  2. Members who have been granted maternity leave may also be entitled to parental leave.

    See: Part 7, Parental leave

5.6.10 Notice

  1. A member must report to an ADF health facility when she believes she is pregnant.

    Note: In accordance with Health Directive No. 235, Management of pregnant members of the Australian Defence Force, Command is informed once pregnancy has been confirmed. This information may only be used for the following purposes.

    1. To ensure that the member is employed safely within WHS policies and procedures relevant to her employment environment.

    2. To approve the member's access to benefits and conditions of service.

    3. To provide information to ensure that members are not disadvantaged in relevant career management agency decisions.

    See: Health Directive No. 235, Management of pregnant members of the Australian Defence Force

  2. The member must provide the CDF with evidence of the end of pregnancy within six weeks of it happening. Another person may provide the evidence on the member's behalf. This is required regardless of the way the pregnancy ends.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 5.6.10.2 on behalf of the CDF:
Supervisor not below WO2(E)/APS 4, in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

5.6.11 How to apply for maternity leave

  1. A member must apply for maternity leave.

  2. A member who has not applied for maternity leave but who would be eligible, had they applied, is taken to be on the required absence for maternity leave from the earlier of the following dates.

    1. Six weeks before the expected date of birth notified under subsection 5.6.10.1.

    2. The date of birth, when the birth occurs earlier than six weeks before the expected date of birth notified under subsection 5.6.10.1.

    See also: Division 3, Required absence

  3. One leave application may be used for multiple types of leave. However, if different approving authorities are required to sign for the different types of leave, separate leave forms must be used for each type of leave.

    Examples of different types of leave: Recreation leave, long service leave and leave without pay.

See: Form AD097, ADF Leave application

Application to Reservists: Yes, in certain circumstances.



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Further info

  • Health Directive No. 235, Management of pregnant members of the Australian Defence Force
    (This document is avaliable on the Defence intranet or through the Defence Service Centre.)
  • Tax alert, item 59

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