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Division 2: Maternity leave entitlements

5.6.12 Overview

  1. This Division describes maternity leave.

    Related Information: Members who have been granted more than six weeks' leave without pay may have different entitlements. For those members, this Division should be read subject to Division 4. This means that if the rules in Division 4 and the rules in this Division are different, Division 4 rules apply to those members. Where the rules can work together, both sets of rules apply.

    See: Division 4, Member already on leave without pay

  2. Maternity leave has features that make it an unusual leave type.

    1. The leave is an entitlement. Approval is an administrative formality. If the member is entitled to take the leave, it must be approved.

    2. If a member was pregnant 20 weeks before the expected date of birth, she is entitled to a maternity leave absence. This is true of members on Permanent or Reserve service. It is also true of members of long and short service.

      1. If members have the required qualifying service, part of the leave is paid.

        See:
        Section 5.6.14, Paid maternity leave
        Division 1 section 5.6.4, Definition of 'qualifying service'

      2. Members may substitute recreation or long service leave for unpaid maternity leave.

        See: Section 5.6.18, Access to other leave

    3. Note: In the total workforce model, the following arrangments apply.

      1. Permanent service may be described as service in Service category 6 or 7.

      2. Reserve service may be described as service in Service category 3, 4 or 5. A member on Service option C is not on Reserve service.

    4. If the member resumes duty early, she is entitled to go on maternity leave again during the 52-week period.

      See: Section 5.6.21, Resuming leave

5.6.12A How does Defence maternity leave interact with the Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme?

  1. The Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme is separate from Defence's maternity leave provisions as contained in Defence's Pay and Conditions Manual.

  2. Receipt of Parental Leave Pay does not affect access or eligibility for Defence's maternity leave provisions. Parental Leave Pay can be received while a member is on any type of leave (paid or unpaid) or a break in training for Reservists.

  3. The Paid Parental Leave scheme is run by the Family Assistance Office who are able to provide information and assistance on how the Paid Parental Leave scheme works. The Family Assistance Office will process the claim and assess if a parent is eligible to receive Parental Leave Pay.

  4. See: Part 6A, The Australian Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme

    Contact information:
    Family Assistance Office: www.familyassist.gov.au
    Family Assistance Office – Government's Paid Parental Leave Hotline: 13 61 50

5.6.13 Leave entitlement

  1. The member is entitled to be absent from duty during the following period.

    1. From the first day of the member's maternity leave.

    2. Until the day 52 weeks after the day in paragraph a.

    See: Section 5.6.14, Paid maternity leave

    Related Information: There is a return trip at Commonwealth expense to assist a pregnant member without dependants to travel to the location of their extended family during maternity leave in Chapter 9 Part 3 Division 3, Travel on maternity leave.

  2. The period of absence starts on the first day of the member's required absence.

    See: Division 3, Required absence

5.6.14 Paid maternity leave

  1. This section does not apply to the following categories of member

    1. A member on Reserve service.

    2. A member on a flexible service determination (weeks per month pattern of service).

      See: Section 5.6.14A, Paid leave for member on a flexible service determination (weeks per month pattern of service)

  2. If a member has completed 12 months' qualifying service, she is entitled to salary for up to 14 weeks of her maternity leave. This table sets out the period of entitlement.

    See: Division 1 section 5.6.4, Definition of 'qualifying service'

    Period of entitlement
    Item If the member's absence is for... then she is entitled to salary for...
    1. more than 14 weeks the first 14 weeks of the absence. The rest of her absence will be unpaid maternity leave.
    But see: Section 5.6.18, Access to other leave
    2. less than 14 weeks the whole of the period.

    Note: The period of paid maternity leave will usually overlap a member's period of required absence. However, they are separate matters. Sometimes the two periods can be very different. They must be worked out separately. Required absence is described in Division 3.

    Example 1: A member completes her first 12 months of qualifying service, she then becomes pregnant with her first child and takes 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and other types of leave which adds up to her 52 weeks of entitled leave. She comes back to full time service for an additional five months before applying for maternity leave to have her second child. She is entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave for the second child.

    Example 2: A member completes her first 12 months of qualifying service, she then becomes pregnant with her first child and takes 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and other types of leave which adds up to her 52 weeks of entitled leave. At the end of the leave she comes back to full time service for two months before leaving the ADF to join a Federal Government department for two years. After the two years she rejoins the ADF and after three months applies for maternity leave to have her second child. She is entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave for the second child.

  3. Paid maternity leave may only be taken during the first 14 weeks of maternity leave absence.

  4. A member is not entitled to paid maternity leave for any period of absence before her first 12 months' qualifying service.

    Example 1: A member completes her first 12 months of qualifying service, she then becomes pregnant with her first child and takes 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and other types of leave which adds up to her 52 weeks of entitled leave. She comes back to full time service for an additional five months before leaving the ADF. After two years the member rejoins the ADF. Three months after rejoining she applies for maternity leave to have her second child. She has only completed three months of her qualifying period of service and is not entitled to the 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.

    Example 2: A member completes her first 12 months of qualifying service, she then becomes pregnant with her first child and takes 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and other types of leave which adds up to her 52 weeks of entitled leave. She comes back to full time service for an additional five months before leaving the permanent ADF to join the Reserves. The member then completes two years of reserve service before applying for maternity leave to have her second child. The member is not entitled to the 14 weeks paid maternity leave as she has broken her full-time service and has not completed a continuous period of 12 months full-time service.

  5. A member with less than 12 months' qualifying service before a period of absence may be entitled to salary if she completes the 12 months during the period of absence. She is entitled for any period of absence that meets both of these conditions.

    1. It starts when she completes 12 months' qualifying service.

    2. It ends when the member has had 14 weeks' maternity leave.

    Example: A member falls pregnant during her first year of service and her compulsory period of absence commences four weeks before she reaches her 12 months' qualifying service. She takes four weeks unpaid maternity leave until her qualifying period is reached. She then takes paid maternity leave for the remaining 10 weeks of her 14 week maternity leave entitlement.

    Leave example
    Member starts
    maternity leave
    12 months' qualifying
    service is reached
    Member has had 14 weeks'
    maternity leave
    52 weeks ends
    4 weeks
    Unpaid maternity leave
    10 weeks
    Paid maternity leave
    Up to 38 weeks
    Unpaid maternity/other leave
  6. A multiple birth or adoption is taken to be a single event.

5.6.14A Paid leave for member on a flexible service determination (weeks per month pattern of service)

  1. This section applies to a member on a flexible service determination (weeks per month pattern of service).

  2. If a member has completed 12 months' qualifying service, the following arrangements apply during the first 14 weeks of her maternity leave absence.

    1. The member continues to be granted leave without pay (flexible service determination) for their nonworking period.

    2. The member will be granted paid maternity leave for their pattern of service.

      See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.50A, Pattern of service (definition)

    See: Division 1 section 5.6.4, Definition of 'qualifying service'

    Related Information: For equivalent part-time leave without pay provisions, see section 5.6.33, Members on part-time leave without pay.

    Example: A member on a flexible service determination (weeks per month pattern of service) works two weeks on and two weeks off. The two weeks off is leave without pay (flexible service determination) and is her nonworking period.

    The member takes maternity leave. For the first 14 weeks of her absence she continues to be granted leave without pay (flexible service determination) during the nonworking period specified under her flexible service determination. She is granted paid maternity leave for the weeks she would otherwise have worked (this is the pattern of service prescribed under her flexible service determination).

    Note: The period of paid maternity leave will usually overlap a member's period of required absence. However, they are separate matters. Sometimes the two periods can be very different. They must be worked out separately. Required absence is described in Division 3.

  3. Paid maternity leave may only be taken during the first 14 weeks of maternity leave absence.

  4. The member may not substitute other types of leave for leave without pay (flexible service determination) during the first 14 weeks of her maternity leave absence.

  5. A member is not entitled to paid maternity leave for any period of absence before her first 12 months’ qualifying service.

  6. A member with less than 12 months' qualifying service before a period of absence may be entitled to salary if she completes the 12 months during the period of absence. She is entitled to payment for any paid maternity leave that falls during the following period.

    1. It starts when she completes 12 months' qualifying service.

    2. It ends when the member has had 14 weeks' maternity leave.

    In this subsection paid maternity leave means leave the member would otherwise be granted under paragraph 2.b. It does not include payment for periods that would otherwise be nonworking periods.

  7. A multiple birth or adoption is taken to be a single event.

5.6.15 Maternity leave at half pay

  1. The CDF may grant a member a period of her entitlement at half her salary rate to extend the time she is entitled to paid maternity leave under subsection 5.6.14.2.

    Exception: Maternity leave at half pay may not be granted to a member on leave without pay (flexible service determination).

    Example:

    Half pay leave example
    Item If a member applies for half pay for... then she is entitled to...
    1. all of her entitlement (maximum of 14 weeks subject to qualifying service)
    See: Division 1 section 5.6.4, Definition of 'qualifying service'
    28 weeks maternity leave at half pay.
    2. 6 weeks of her entitlement 8 weeks maternity leave at full pay and 12 weeks at half pay.
  2. The member must apply to the CDF in writing to request a period of maternity leave at half pay under subsection 1.

    Note: The member must still contribute to superannuation each fortnight that she receives salary. The contribution rate is based on her full rate of salary. It is not reduced even though she is being paid less.

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 5.6.15.1 and subsection 5.6.15.2 on behalf of the CDF:
Supervisor not below WO2(E)/APS 4, in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

5.6.16 Member on Reserve service

A member on Reserve service is not entitled to maternity leave. They are entitled to a 52-week break in their minimum training service obligation, as if they had access to maternity leave.

5.6.17 Second period of maternity leave

  1. This section applies to a member who meets both of these conditions.

    1. The member has been granted maternity leave.

    2. During the period of the leave, the member qualifies for a second grant of maternity leave.

  2. The member is entitled to a second grant of maternity leave. The leave should be worked out under this Part.

5.6.18 Access to other leave

  1. A member may substitute recreation leave or long service leave for unpaid maternity leave.

    Example: A member may make up a 52-week period of absence in this way.

    Leave example
    Start of required absence End of 52 weeks
          Paid maternity leave
    14 weeks
    Long service leave
    12 weeks
    Unpaid maternity leave
    24 weeks
    Recreation leave
    2 weeks
         

    Non-example: The non-example below is not an acceptable alternative. This is because paid maternity leave must be the first 14 weeks of the maternity leave absence.

    Leave non-example
    Start of required absence End of 52 weeks
          Recreation leave
    2 weeks
    Paid maternity leave
    14 weeks
    Long service leave
    12 weeks
    Unpaid maternity leave
    24 weeks
         
  2. A member who substitutes other leave for unpaid maternity leave may not extend the total period of maternity leave. The limits in section 5.6.13 continue to apply.

    Note: A member on maternity leave is still subject to the recreation leave lapsing provisions in section 5.4.34. It may be in a member's interest to substitute recreation leave for unpaid maternity leave, to prevent it from lapsing.

    See: Part 4 Division 7 section 5.4.34, Expiration of recreation leave credits ('leave lapsing')

    Note: A member may be entitled to a further 14 weeks' parental leave. This is an unpaid leave type. This would take the total period of absence in this example to 66 weeks.

    See: Part 7, Parental leave

5.6.19 Effect of unpaid maternity leave

  1. Any period of paid maternity leave is a period of effective service. This includes maternity leave at half pay.

  2. Any period of unpaid maternity leave is not a period of effective service.

    Note: MSBS members may choose to maintain their superannuation contributions.

    See: The Note to Division 4 paragraph 5.6.31.2.b, Maternity leave

  3. A period of unpaid maternity leave has these features.

    1. It counts as continuous service.

    2. It will not break continuity of service if the conditions for a particular entitlement are met.

    3. The member is not required to remain fit or deployable.

    4. The member continues to receive free medical care. The member is not returned to the payroll for hospitalisation, treatment, illness or medical absence.

    Note: Long service leave does not accrue for any period of unpaid maternity leave more than three months.

    See: Part 5 Division, section 5.5.18, Periods that are not accrued service


  4. The member keeps their housing assistance.

5.6.20 Resuming duty

  1. A member may apply to resume duty on a date after her required absence is completed. The member must apply in writing.

    Note: A member and her supervisor should discuss return to duty options when the member puts in her maternity leave application.

  2. The member does not have to provide a medical certificate with her application.

    Note: Members are advised to make any decision to return to work early based on medical advice.

  3. The CDF may give the member permission to resume duty on a date after her required absence is completed.

    Note: The CDF may also allow a member to resume duty during her required absence.

    See: Division 3 section 5.6.27, Resuming duty during the required absence.

  4. The CDF must make a decision on an application under subsection 1 within seven days of receiving it. The member must be told of the decision in writing.

  5. A member who applies to resume duty on part-time leave without pay or as a member on a flexible service determination (weeks per month pattern of service) must include that application with their application to resume duty.

    See: Part 10
    Division 2 section 5.10.10, Members who are eligible
    Division 3 section 5.10.19, Members who are eligible

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 5.6.20.3 on behalf of the CDF:
Supervisor not below WO2(E)/APS 4, in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

5.6.21 Resuming leave

  1. This section applies to a member who meets all of these conditions.

    1. The member has taken maternity leave.

    2. The member has resumed duty.

    3. The member wishes to take further maternity leave.

  2. If the further maternity leave falls in this period, the member is entitled to take the further leave.

    1. From the day the member first takes maternity leave.

    2. Until the day 52 weeks after the day in paragraph a.

  3. If the further leave falls outside the period in subsection 2, the member is not entitled to maternity leave. The member may have access to parental leave.

    See: Part 7, Parental leave

5.6.22 Examples

These examples set out some maternity leave scenarios.

Note: Example 4 is allowable but is unusual and would rarely occur.

Example 1:

Example 1
Start required absence Birth or termination End required absence End 52 weeks
6 weeks 6 weeks 2 weeks 38 weeks
Paid maternity leave Paid maternity leave Unpaid maternity leave

Example 2:

Example 2
Birth or termination End required absence End 52 weeks  
6 weeks 8 weeks 38 weeks
Paid maternity leave Unpaid maternity leave

Example 3:

Example 3
Start required absence Birth or termination End required absence Member has permission to resume
5 weeks 6 weeks 3 weeks 12 weeks
Paid maternity leave Paid maternity leave Unpaid maternity leave

Example 4:

Example 4
Start required absence Birth or termination Return to work
(with medical certificates and CDF approval)
On leave (various) to end of 52 weeks
2 weeks 2 weeks 3 weeks 10 weeks 4 weeks 31 weeks
Paid maternity leave Paid maternity leave Work Paid maternity leave Recreation leave Unpaid maternity leave

Example 5:

Example 5
Start required absence Birth or termination End required absence End 52 weeks
6 weeks 6 weeks 2 weeks 33 weeks 5 weeks
Paid maternity leave Paid maternity leave Unpaid maternity leave Recreation leave

Example 6:

Example 6
Start required absence Birth or termination End required absence End 52 weeks
6 weeks 2 weeks 4 weeks 8 weeks 32 weeks
Paid maternity leave Paid maternity leave Half pay maternity leave Unpaid maternity leave

Application to Reservists: Yes, in certain circumstances.



I want to know more...

Further info

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

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