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It is an exciting time in the lead up to your maternity leave. Here are some key steps to take in order to obtain parental leave from your workplace.

10 weeks before commencing leave.

You must supply your employer with written notice of your intention to take parental leave. This should occur ten weeks before your due date. You may prefer to notify your employer of your intentions earlier than this and this can be helpful for them.

It is important to be aware that if you need to go on leave sooner than you intended, for instance, if bub is very premature, you are still entitled to take leave.

What to include in your maternity leave letter

There are some important things to include in your letter of notice to your employer:

  • Your name, address and date of mailing the letter.
  • Your intended date for leaving and the date you plan to return by.
  • The expected date of birth of your child, or if you are adopting a child the expected date of placement.
  • It is also useful to attach a medical certificate to your letter confirming your pregnancy and the expected arrival date of bub. If you do not include this in your letter, your employer has the right to request this from you as well.
  • Sign the letter yourself.
  • It may be useful to make a photocopy of your letter and to send your original letter by registered mail. That way, you have written confirmation of the mailing date if it is required in future.

4 weeks before you commence parental leave.

You must confirm your parental leave dates with your employer a minimum of 4 weeks prior to commencing your leave. If your circumstances have changed, for instance bub arrives early, you should inform your employer as soon as you can.

For more information see Maternity Leave Policy.