Maternity, adoption and permanent care leave

We have developed an easy-to-use Maternity leave toolkit (pdf, 1.8MB) for female staff and their managers to use when discussing and planning maternity leave arrangements.

Academic and general staff

Maternity leave is available for female employees (including full-time, part-time and eligible casual staff) during and after pregnancy. Staff are entitled to a period of up to 52 weeks maternity leave, such leave must be taken within the period 20 weeks before the expected delivery date of the child and 52 weeks after the commencement of the paid period of maternity leave. This leave can comprise paid Maternity Leave, unpaid maternity leave, annual leave, long service leave or a combination of these.

An employee who adopts or becomes the permanent carer of a child is entitled to a period of up to 52 weeks of adoption or permanent care leave, commencing from the date of placement of the child. This leave can comprise paid maternity leave, unpaid maternity leave, annual leave, long service leave or a combination of these. Adoption leave is available to female and male employees commencing from the date of placement of the child, but only when the employee is the legal parent and primary care-giver. It is not available when the child has been living with the partner of the employee prior to the employee adopting the child.

For maternity leave, adoption leave and permanent care leave, if the employee (other than a casual employee) has completed less than 12 months service prior to the time the leave is to begin, then they will be granted one week leave on full pay for each completed month of service.

If the employee has completed more than 12 months service at the time that the leave is to begin then they will be entitled to 14 weeks leave on full pay (this may be taken at half pay or full pay) and an additional return-to-work* bonus of up to the equivalent of 12 weeks salary. This bonus is repayable if the employee does not return to work.

(*A Return-to-Work Bonus does not form part of ordinary time earnings under the Superannuation Guarantee Act.)

The return-to-work bonus can be used in a number of ways such as: it can be accessed as normal salary over six fortnights; to offset associated costs, such as childcare; working reduced hours on a graduated return-to-work program; or if requested can be paid as a lump sum.

Maternity leave and adoption leave (with some modification) is available in the case of miscarriage, still-birth or if the child dies during the period the employee is on leave.

If a staff member wishes to extend the leave period beyond 52 weeks, the employee may apply for leave without pay. Subject to operational requirements an additional period of up to 12 months will be granted. On return from leave, a full-time employee may apply to return part-time until the child reaches school age. If this is not possible in the position held prior to leave justifiable reasons will be given and an alternative position sought.

Where the leave taken plus any period of conversion to part-time is 12 months or less the employee is entitled to return to the position they were in prior to leave. If the position no longer exists or the time on leave/conversion to part-time is greater than 12 months all attempts will be made to place the employee in a commensurate position.

TAFE teaching staff

A TAFE teaching staff member who submits a certificate from a registered medical practitioner stating that she is pregnant is entitled to 14 weeks leave equivalent to full pay (this may be taken at full or half pay). This leave must begin within the period commencing six weeks prior to the expected date of delivery. Leave without pay may then be taken to extend the period of leave to 52 weeks. With an additional entitlement to request a further period of unpaid leave of up to 52 weeks.

Maternity leave and adoption leave (with some modification) is available in the case of miscarriage, still-birth or if the child dies during the period the employee is on leave.

If a TAFE teaching staff member with 12 months continuous service submits satisfactory evidence that they are the primary care giver and an approved applicant for adoption they are entitled to a period of leave no longer than 12 months. If the child is less than 12 months of age then the employee would be entitled to 14 weeks full pay, if the child is more than 12 months of age then six weeks full pay would be granted. Additional unpaid leave can be claimed bringing the aggregate leave to a continuous period of 12 months. Eligible casual employees will be entitled to unpaid leave not exceeding 52 weeks.

On return from leave, a full-time employee may apply to return part-time until the child reaches school age. If this is not possible in the position held prior to leave justifiable reasons will be given and an alternative position sought.

For detailed information on leave entitlements and conditions for different staff categories please click on the relevant link/s below.

How to apply for maternity/adoption/permanent care leave

Fully understand your own maternity/adoption/permanent care leave entitlements, appropriate options and notification timelines and decide on a plan that best suits your circumstances.

  • See links below and/or discuss your situation and plans confidentially with a HR Business Partner, ext. 9512 (ks.jones@federation.edu.au) and/or with your Supervisor.
  • Give at least four weeks notice in writing of when you wish commence maternity leave. (NB: A general or academic staff member should confirm their intention to return to work at least eight weeks prior to the expiration of the period of parental leave. TAFE teachers should provide 12 weeks notice of their intention to return to work.)
  • Provide a medical certificate stating that you are pregnant and giving the expected date of birth, or provide appropriate adoption or permanent care certification.
  • Complete and submit an Employee Leave Form (docx, 104kb) and submit it with your medical certificate and Letter of Request.
  • Have a look at the Maternity leave toolkit (pdf, 1.8MB)

Enterprise Agreement - EXTRACTS

Links to detailed information on leave entitlements and conditions relevant to Maternity Leave and Adoption Leave for different staff categories:

Parental leave - Academic and General staff
Federation University Australia Union Collective Agreement (UCA) 2015-2018,
Academic and General Staff Employees
Link to: Clause 52 (pdf, 49kb)

Parental leave - TAFE teaching staff
Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Multi-Business Agreement (MBA) 2009
Schedule 6 - TAFE Teachers' Conditions of Employment (Victoria) Award 2002 (AP816514)
Link to: Clause 27 (pdf, 16kb)

Maternity leave - TAFE teaching staff
Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Multi-Business Agreement (MBA) 2009
Schedule 6 - TAFE Teachers' Conditions of Employment (Victoria) Award 2002 (AP816514)
Link to: Clause 28 (pdf, 14kb)

Adoption leave - TAFE teaching staff
Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Multi-Business Agreement (MBA) 2009
Schedule 6 - TAFE Teachers' Conditions of Employment (Victoria) Award 2002 (AP816514)
Link to: Clause 29 (pdf, 13kb)

Paternity leave - TAFE teaching staff
Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Multi-Business Agreement (MBA) 2009
Schedule 6 - TAFE Teachers' Conditions of Employment (Victoria) Award 2002 (AP816514)
Link to: Clause 30 (pdf, 13kb)