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Pay and Conditions

ADF Member's Guide

Parental leave

Parental leave gives you time off to spend with a newborn or adopted dependent child.

Who can get parental leave?

You may get parental leave if you're a member of the:

  • Permanent Forces
  • Reserves on continuous full-time service, or
  • Reserves on Reserve service

How much paid parental leave can I get?

You may get two weeks of paid parental leave if you aren't eligible for maternity leave.

When you use your parental leave, you should count calendar days, including weekends and public holidays, not just work days.

You can take paid parental leave at full or half pay, or a combination of full and half pay.

You can take paid parental leave all at once or at different times.

The amount of leave doesn't go up if you have more than one child at the same time, such as twins.

Any paid parental leave you take is counted as effective service.

How much unpaid parental leave can I get?

As a member on continuous full-time service you may get unpaid parental leave for up to 66 weeks. This includes any paid parental leave. Your total parental leave absence can't be more than 66 weeks.

You can take unpaid parental leave all at once or at different times.

You may also get unpaid parental leave if you are eligible for maternity leave.

Unpaid parental leave can be taken until the end of your 66 week leave period. This period starts from when your child was born or adopted.

As a member of the Reserves on Reserve service, you may get up to 66 weeks break in your service obligation.

Any unpaid leave you take doesn’t count as effective service.

Both parents can take unpaid parental leave at the same time if:

  • they’re members, or
  • one is a member and the other is an APS employee.

What happens when I’m on unpaid parental leave?

If you’re on unpaid parental leave you:

  • don’t have to stay fit or deployable
  • get free medical care, and
  • keep your housing assistance.

You don’t accrue long service leave for any period of unpaid leave over 3 months.

When do I have to take parental leave?

You must take parental leave within 66 weeks from the day your child is born or adopted.

The government's Parental Leave Pay doesn't affect whether you get parental leave from Defence. You can get Parental Leave Pay while you are on paid or unpaid parental leave.

You can apply for part-time leave without pay when you return from parental leave.

More information about parental leave can be found in Chapter 5 Part 7.

Important information

As the name suggests, this Member's Guide is designed as a guide to help you understand how your pay and conditions work. It is not a legal document. Therefore, if there is any conflict between the Member's Guide and Defence Determination 2016/19, Conditions of Service (and the Determinations made by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal), as compiled in PACMAN, PACMAN is the authority.

This Member's Guide does not incorporate or make provision for members on a flexible service determination.

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Who do I contact

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

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