Maternity/Adoption/Surrogacy Leave at a glance

(Contact the AEU Information Unit for further information)

Who is eligible?

Permanent employees with continuous service of 12 months prior to the birth of a child.  These 12 months of service does not have to be immediately prior to the birth.

The following service counts as continuous service for the purpose of determining eligibility for paid maternity leave:

•  time on duty (including permanent, ongoing, limited tenure, contract and casual work);
•  paid sick leave;
•  unpaid and paid maternity leave;
•  unpaid and paid adoption leave.

Full-time employees are eligible for this entitlement on 1.0 pay.
Part-time employees are eligible for this entitlement on a pro-rata basis.

Contract employees are also eligible, see below for details.

Who is not eligible?

Casual employees such as HPIs, TRTs, casual SSOs, AEWs or ECWs are not eligible.

If eligible, what am I entitled to?

12 months or 52 weeks of paid and unpaid leave in total from the birth of the baby plus top up to end of the year if the 12 months finishes mid school year.
More than 5 years service = 20 weeks paid leave
5 years or less service = 16 weeks paid leave

Can I take the leave at half pay?

Yes, but taking the leave at half pay will not change how much Superannuation is paid by the Department for Education or alter your holiday pay, your incremental progression or your accrual of sick leave and LSL entitlements.

Contract teachers

Contract employees, who have 12 months continuous service prior to the birth of the child.  However, unlike permanent employees, a contract employee must currently be in a contract and have no break in service of more than three (3) months during the past 12 months.
What if I am on a contract and my contract ends before I take paid leave or during my paid leave?
To access paid parenting leave a contract teacher must actually be in a contract or start the paid leave no later than the day after the contract ends.  (If the contract end date is January 24, the paid leave must begin no later than January 25)
If you are no longer in a contract when you wish to start paid parenting leave you will not be eligible as per the point above.
If your contract ends while you are already on paid parenting leave you will continue to be paid all of your paid parenting entitlement beyond your contract end date.
Unfortunately, if you do not begin your leave within one day of your contract ending you will not be eligible for paid leave.
Please contact the AEU if you have any further questions or if you feel you have been treated differently because you are pregnant.
Contract employees should seriously consider taking paid maternity leave at half pay. Taking the leave at half pay will effectively double the time you can take off without incurring a break in service. (20 weeks becomes 40 and 16 weeks becomes 32)  Currently, a contract teacher who does not work for the department at all for more than three (3) months (not counting holidays) will be deemed to have a break in service and lose any accrued sick leave entitlements and years of service toward long service leave.

The conditions of paid leave for parenting apply to maternity, adoption and surrogacy.  In some circumstances there may be an entitlement to fully paid foster care leave.  This is something the AEU have been pursuing for some time.  Please contact Tish Champion at the AEU if you would like more information on Foster Care leave entitlements.