11 May 2014

Pregnancy and Work Transitions

Pregnancy in the work force is a subject that many companies have to deal with at some point. As women are filling many open jobs, it makes sense that they will need to have some time off in order to take care of their newborn babies.

While many companies may fully understand and support this, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly which rules need to be followed in regards to maternity leave. Here are some of the basics that your company can follow when one of your employees is expecting a new baby.

Taking Maternity Leave

According to the Australian law, all employees who have worked for a company for a minimum of 12 months are able to receive unpaid parental leave. With this agreement, the employee will be able to take the leave and then can return at the end of it to the same position if it is still available or one that is of the same status or pay as their previous position. The maternity leave is allowed to start sometime in the six weeks preceding the birth or earlier as long as both parties agree.

Types of Maternity Leave

There are also several different types of maternity leave that the parent can choose to take. The two main ones are known as Paid Parental leave or Parental Leave Pay. According to statistics it has shown that those mothers who had ongoing or permanent employment were much more likely to take the PPL compared to those who have a job as self-employed; they were more likely to take the PLP or the Baby Bonus.

Leave Arrangements for Partner’s

The raising of a new child is an important event in many new parents’ lives. Because of this, it is natural that both the mother and their partner will want to spend the critical first couple of weeks with the new baby. This is why four out of five partners took some sort of leave, either paid or unpaid, in the weeks after their new child was born. The leave for partner’s is often relatively short compared to the leave given to the mother. Most of the time, the partner will have to rely on their saved up time off or go on an unpaid leave. This can cause a lot of financial burden on the family which is why most partners will only take a few weeks off after the birth of the child.

Work Arrangements After Leave

There are many different types of work arrangements that can be set up with the new mother when it is time for her to come back after leave. As stated before, the company must place the mother back into her previous position after maternity leave, or if that position is no longer available, they must provide her with a position of the same status and pay. Even with this, some mothers may choose other arrangements such as only coming back part time or even working from home if the position allows for it.

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