Member Resources

Guide: Parental Leave

Estimated reading: 5 minutes

Who can access parental leave?

Full-time, part-time and eligible casual employees are entitled to parental leave if the leave is associated with:

  • The birth of a child by you or your spouse,
               including by surrogacy arrangement.
  • The placement of a child  for adoption
  • The placement of a child under a long-term or permanent care order and you have, or will have, responsibility for care of the child.
Eligible casual employee means a casual employee who has been engaged by the employer on a regular and systematic basis for a period of:
  • At least 12 months
  • Less than 12 months, provided that the employee has undertaken a previous engagement with the employer and;
a) the employment was terminated
b) the employee was re-hired within 3 months of previous termination and the total period of employment is at least 12 months.

How much parental leave can I access?

Primary carers can access paid parental leave after anywhere between 39 weeks and 12 months of continuous service.

Partners can access paid parental leave after at least 12 months of continuous service. See tables p.48 of NTPS Teachers’ 2021-2024 EA.

Can I take leave at half pay?

Yes, you can elect to take a longer period of time on half pay. A period of parental leave does not break an employee’s continuity of service.

My partner and I are both NYPS employees. Can we combine our leave?

Yes, provided you satisfy the service requirements and notice periods as well as evidence requirements. You must both apply for the respective parental leave periods and there is a maximum of two interchanges during the combined leave. The combined paid and unpaid leave must not extend beyond 3 years from its commencement.

How much notice do I have to give?

Written notice of at least 10 weeks is required relating to the intention to take parental leave and the

proposed start and end dates. This must be confirmed in writing 4 weeks prior to intended commencement date or advising of any changes to dates. You must also provide a statutory declaration stating you will be the primary caregiver (for parental leave). If there are unexpected circumstances relating to the birth, then providing this information at your earliest convenience is acceptable.

What if I don’t feel safe at work during my pregnancy?

If there are hazards connected to the work you are expected to perform, there is a provision to be transferred to a safe job during the risk period, if it is available and reasonably practical. This may include a medical issue arising from pregnancy and will need an accompanying medical certificate.

Can I access other leave while on parental leave?

Yes, you may access accrued recreation leave and long service leave entitlements during a period of unpaid parental leave. However, this will not extend the maximum period of parental leave.

Can I work while on paid parental leave?

Yes, but it will not extend the maximum period of parental leave and employment outside of the NTPS is subject to the requirements of the PSEM Act. You can work within the NTPS when on unpaid parental leave within your agency or another agency.

‘Keeping in Touch Days’ are a provision allowing you to attend your workplace for meetings and training during parental leave to help facilitate a return to work and to familiarise you with any changes in the workplace. These will be paid days or part days.

What about returning to work?

If you elect to return to work in the 6 weeks immediately following the birth, a medical certificate is required stating your fitness for work. If you are returning to work early from a period of parental leave, you must provide an application to return to work. If your leave has been less than 1 year, then you need to make the request at least 4 weeks prior to your preferred date. If your leave has been longer than 1 year, you need to make the request with at least 12 weeks’ notice.

Will I get my old job back?

Yes, you are entitled to the position that you held immediately prior to leave, however if that position no longer exists, then you will be placed in a position of similar pay and status.

What about superannuation contributions?

Employer superannuation contributions will be paid during the first 12 months of parental leave as if you had been at work. The superannuation contributions must be paid during periods of both paid and unpaid leave, not in a lump sum at the end.

Should you elect to take any paid leave at half pay, superannuation contributions will be made during the half pay period as if the leave was taken at full pay.

NOTE: the double superannuation contributions under clause 52.16 b) will only be paid for a period that is equivalent to utilising paid parental leave at full pay. For example, if 14 weeks paid parental leave is taken at half pay over a 28-week period, then the double superannuation will only be paid for the first 14 weeks.

What if I get pregnant again?

You can elect, subject to notice and evidence requirements to commence another period of parental leave relating to a subsequent child as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed.

See Table A & B on our downloadable fact sheet for more detail.

Reference: Northern Territory Public Sector Principals, Teachers and Assistant Teacher’ 2021-2024 Enterprise Agreement pg. 46-67





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