maternity leave laws in Australia

Crystal - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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doesn anyone know the rights of a mum comming back from maternity leave, im back at work already and they are saying im still on maternity leave and i need to take my old job back or i have to find a new job? i said i would have 12 months off and i went back earlt, when my son was 4 and half months old, As work made me feel like they need me as thay cant keep staff and i have been there 3 years i know what im doing...and its sad knowing that they wanted me back but now want me back full time im not ready for that yet bub is only 6 months old....

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Renae - posted on 01/01/2011

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Until 2011, there was no mandatory paid maternity leave in Australia, they have to give one parent up to 12 months off - that is mandatory - you do not have to be paid at all unless it was in your contract or EA. When you return to work, they have to give you either your old job back, or another job of same or less responsibility at the same pay. They cannot make you go back full time and they cannot fire you for refusing. Call Fair Work Australia and ask them for advice.

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Under FairWork laws you are entitled to request part time work until your child is of school age. Your work may not approve it but they have to show they have considered it.
You are entitled to 12 months leave, but returning because you feel bad about their situation may not be the best solution for you! THis is the time to use the laws to back up your choices. Talk to FairWork on the hotline about your rights... Check the number in the White Pages or online.

Heather - posted on 01/06/2011

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you poor thing!! I wish i could help you and knew the laws??.... Heather Prudenville, MI

Crystal - posted on 12/30/2010

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thsnk you i will fish it out and have a look yes i was shocked when they told me no pay when i leave....it sucked big time was a big struggle but i made it through it :)

Brenda - posted on 12/30/2010

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it is mandatory for them to pay you, thats weird i wonder if maybe yuor comapny is to small, cause you have been thee long enough aswell..I would read the pamplet they give you when they first hired you, with the piolicys explanation, and there might be something in there stating that you agree to no pay during maternity leave, and to retunr to work before your 52 weeks is over, they cannot fire you because you are entitled to maternity leave, but I understand the pressure you must feel. Sorry you going thru this, good luck! Hope baby is okay! =)

Crystal - posted on 12/29/2010

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i had no pay either i was having the 52 weeks off but they wanted me back so i went back in kindness for one day a week....

Tracey - posted on 12/28/2010

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I'm not too sure about this but it sounds like work is being very inflexable when you have been good enough to cut your leave short. Have a good read of your company's matt leave policy and if that is no help get on the government site and find out your rights and go to the union because that doesn't sound right or fair.

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