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  1. #1
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    Default Sick leave options

    Hi all

    I'm due to have my baby in around 5 weeks, and due to our financial circumstances I'm only able to have a few weeks off annual leave before returning to work.

    I was hoping to take some time off immediately after the birth as sick leave, in addition to my annual leave. Realistically, after having a baby I wouldn't be well enough to return to work immediately. What is everyone's thoughts on this? How long is an acceptable amount of time? I was thinking 1-2 weeks.

    I have only recently moved to Adelaide, so don't have a GP at this stage. All my checks are through midwives at a public hospital, so I'm not sure how/where I would get a doctor certificate if required. But was hoping to bring it up with my employer first .. but wanted a rough idea on how long I could/should propose as sick leave.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Are you eligible for the Centrelink paid parental leave?

    I didn't think you could take sick leave as maternity leave, but have never really investigated it.

  3. #3
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    Default Sick leave options

    That's a tough one because it depends where you work. We have to take maternity pay when we are birthing and can only work past 34 weeks with a medical certificate that says we are fit to work. But I actually get maternity leave, so it is a different story. We wouldn't be allowed to use sick leave for maternity. If they don't give you maternity leave I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use your sick leave with a medical certificate that states you will be not fit for duty from and until x. Even mentally you wouldn't be fit for work right after birth and your employer cannot ask probing questions about your medical conditions as it is private.

  4. #4
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    The paid parental leave won't cover our expenses, so I've opted for the baby bonus and returning to work after a few weeks. Unfortunate circumstances.

    My employer doesn't offer any maternity leave benefits, so its a tad tricky. I've been with the company 9+ years, so have a lot of sick leave banked up. I know its not ideal using it, but I'm in a bit of a tricky situation. I also don't want to rub them up the wrong way by using leave I probably shouldn't ..

    It looks like I'll probably just have to take the couple of weeks annual leave

  5. #5
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    I think it would depend on your employer. At one job I worked, they would allow us to do this with whatever leave we had. But where I work now I can't do that.

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    Default Sick leave options

    You will be hard pressed to find an employer that will allow sick leave to be used in this manner.

    Having a baby is not a medical condition, but in saying that... I would ask the question, You may be surprised.

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    if you are getting $5k baby bonus...why can't that cover you for a 6 weeks off work?

    If you have a c section...you'll certainly need the time...plus time for bonding with bubs and allowing for all the body changes you'll be going through.

    If you have been with the company for 9 years...you are legally entitled to parental leave.

  8. #8
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    If the $5k came up front, it would be ok. But I need to pay rent etc, and the bonus is only paid fortnightly .. its not enough to get us through on a weekly basis.
    I'm crossing my fingers for no C section, thats for sure!
    I can take unpaid leave .. but that doesn't help the financial side (the problem). Oh well, we'll just have to do some speedy bonding and stuff.
    Thanks everyone

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    Default Sick leave options

    The only way you'll find out for sure is to ask your employer.

    You should also find out if they have any rules on a minimum time off for having a baby - not sure legalities as such but i heard of a lady years ago who's company wouldnt let her return to work till 6wks post birth, but that may have been due to the relation of her work duties

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    Are you a permanent employee? If so, when do you reach 10 years service? Because you are within striking distance of getting long service leave.

    If it were me, I'd ask my employer if I could take my long service leave early. If I were your boss, I would agree to this because:

    1. It means I wouldn't have to carry a leave liability on my books
    2. If you leave the company between 7 and 10 years, they have to pay it out anyway
    3. If you stay with the company and get a pay increase, they'll just end up having to pay it out at a higher rate
    4. It's easier to replace someone for a long contract than for 5 weeks (sometimes - depends on the role).

    Having said that, if you can use your sick leave, great. It's up to your employer whether they will allow this, but it's definitely worth asking for.

    Also, I'm not sure of your financial situation, but would it work better if they paid you at half your pay rate for twice as long? Some companies do this, so just an idea.

    Hope you can work it out and get a bit more time with the new addition to your family.


 

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