NSW Employment Law - Unpaid Maternity Leave after the Baby is Born?

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Carmen Garcia

24 September 2015
Hi, when I gave birth I didn't take any time of maternity leave as my husband stayed at home and looked after our baby. After 5 months, our situation has changed and we have decided that I would take unpaid maternity leave, however my employer has denied my request because they said I should have told them when I first had the baby? Since my husband didn't take any unpaid leave, should this be considered a concurrent unpaid leave? Under Employment Law, I thought I could ask for unpaid leave within the first 12 months after the baby being born?

Thank you


Hi Carmen,

There are notice requirements when taking unpaid parental leave, however as I understand it you are not required to tell them before the baby is born. And yes you may take unpaid parental leave within 12 months from the date the baby is born.

The requirements are that you must:
  • inform your employer of your intention to take unpaid maternity leave by giving at least 10 weeks written notice
  • specify the intended start and end dates of the leave; and
  • at least four weeks before the intended start date:
    • confirm the intended start and end dates or
    • advise the employer of any changes.
Where concurrent leave is to be taken in separate periods, these notice requirements apply to the first period of that leave. For second and subsequent periods, the employee must provide the employer with 4 weeks notice.