VIC Parental Leave Entitlements After a Period of Unpaid Leave?

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4 January 2019
Hello all.

I am looking to find out if I am entitled to parental leave with my employer. I started in a permanent full-time position in October 2014 and worked continuously till July 2018. At this time, I was granted 6 months leave without pay to work for a different employer (in a relevant industry, just a great opportunity). I am returning to my normal employer in mid-January 2019 when the unpaid leave will end. However, I suspect that I am pregnant.

Am I still entitled to parental leave (paid and unpaid) with my employer? From what I can see in our agreement (based on the NES) I need to have completed 12 months continuous service (which I have) but I can't find anywhere that says that the continuous employment needs to be directly before the birth. Additionally, there is a definition of continuous service in our agreement that states the following:

"Includes all service for which paid leave was applicable. Paid leave includes, but is not limited to personal/carer’s leave (sick leave and carer’s leave), infectious diseases leave, compassionate leave, school holidays, annual leave, long service leave, qualification conferral leave and the period during which accident make-up payments are being received by the Employee. Periods of unpaid leave do not count as service, except at the discretion of the employer. Periods of unpaid leave do not break continuous employment but do not count as continuous service".

This makes it seem more confusing to me- does it mean that my leave doesn't count toward my total continuous service, or that I have in fact broken it?

Any help would be appreciated to help me understand my (strange) situation.


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
In my opinion it indicates the unpaid leave period doesn't break continuous employment, but at the same time, you do not accrue leave entitlements during the unpaid leave period.

So you are likely to be deemed to have continuous employment from Oct 14 to now (4 yrs 2 mths), but leave accrual is only from Oct 14 to Jul 18, and resumes ticking again mid-Jan.

Length of service period may vary for different types of leave. LSL is likely to not care you took unpaid leave as it will be for less than 12 months.