At Robertson Hyetts Solicitors we provide comprehensive advice in relation to all business matters. We regularly host legislative updates and work in partnership with our clients, community and industry associates to contribute to the development of the region.
Bendigo Regional HR Network Event, held at The Capital, 19 February, 2014
Presenters, Robertson Hyetts Solicitors
Family Friendly Measure
Special maternity leave (SML) is a form of unpaid leave additional to an employee’s right to 12 months unpaid maternity leave.
A female employee may take SML if unable to work due to:
- a pregnancy related illness; or
- if the pregnancy ends, e.g. in still birth, miscarriage or medical termination within 28 weeks of the expected birth date.
SML ceases in the case of pregnancy related illness, when the illness ends, or when the birth takes place. In regards to still birth or miscarriage; the leave continues for as long as the employee is not fit for work.
Notice of intent to use SML and its likely duration must be given as soon as the employee is able to do so, which may be after the leave has begun.
An employer can ask for “reasonable evidence” for the leave, most obviously a medical certificate.
To be entitled for SML, the employee must also have been eligible for unpaid parental leave; i.e
- if they are responsible for the care of a baby or a newly adopted child; and
- have been employed for a minimum of 12 months
before the SML commences (although special rules applies for casual employees).
Unsafe job leave
If it is unsafe for a pregnant employee to carry out her usual duties she must be transferred to an “appropriate safe job”, but she must first give her employer evidence (again, we suggest a medical certificate).
If and when she is transferred, the same entitlements, rate of pay and ordinary hours as her usual job apply. If need be, the employee and employer can agree to different hours of work.
If no more suitable and safe job is available, the employee may take paid “no safe job” leave if eligible for unpaid parental leave, at the same rate and for her ordinary hours of work. Paid “no safe job” leave continues until the earlier of the expiry of a medical certificate or when the birth occurs.
An employee not entitled to unpaid parental leave may only take unpaid “no safe job” leave.
The contents of this document are for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.
If you have any particular concerns or queries, please contact our office for specific advice.