You are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave if:
- you are pregnant and are the primary care giver of the newly born child;
- you have completed 12 months of continuous service in the WA public sector as a permanent employee; and
- if you are on a fixed term contract, that the period of paid or unpaid maternity leave does not extend beyond the term of your contract.
You will be paid at your substantive salary rate for your usual number of working hours at the time of commencement of paid maternity leave. You are not entitled to payment of any shift or penalty rates. However if you have been on higher duties continuously for at least 12 months immediately prior to taking paid parental leave you are entitled to be paid at your higher duties rate for the first 4 weeks.
“Primary care giver” is defined as “the employee who will assume the principal role for the care and attention of a newly born child.”
When requested you must provide to your employer evidence to satisfy a reasonable person of your primary care giver status.
To access paid maternity leave you have to provide your employer with a medical certificate naming yourself, confirming the pregnancy and the estimated date of birth.
The 14 weeks of paid maternity leave forms part of your entitlement to 52 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. The 14 weeks, however, is in addition to the 18 weeks paid maternity leave provided for by the Federal Government. To find out more about Federal Paid Parental Leave you need to go to the Family Assistance Office website at: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/having-a-baby
If you are a casual employee you cannot access paid maternity leave but you may be eligible to access unpaid maternity leave if you have been a casual for at least 12 months working on a regular basis and would have had a reasonable expectation of your employment continuing in a casual capacity were it not for the birth of a child.