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  1. #1
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    Default Paid Parental Leave - Casual worker

    Hi all,

    My situation is this, I work as a casual for a retail company. Last year in November I was transferred from store location A to store location B due to moving closer to location B. Not long after I found out I was pregnant and due to incredible and terrible morning sickness (including hospitalisation) I was off work sick for about 13 weeks. When I was feeling well again in March I contacted both my new home store (store B) as well as my old store A to let them know I was well enough (and needy enough) to pick up any shifts. From then on I have only been offered shifts from store A. Since then the manager and regional for my new home store (B) have changed more than once.

    Now I know I qualify for an exception to the work test (for the 8+ week gap) and will have no problems in getting the required Dr's certs, but due to so much change in management and not having any recent shifts at my home store, I'm finding it hard to get a letter from my employer to back up my story from their end. All it needs to say is that I was on unpaid sick leave due to pregnancy complications, I was still employed during that time and I would have gotten shifts had it not been for the complications relating to pregnancy. Nobody in management now at my home store knows me or my situation, so I do sort of understand their hesitance, but I'm not asking anyone to lie, just tell me who i need to contact. Nobody wants to touch it.

    So I guess I just need to start thinking realistically when it comes to my application. And I have been. I think I'm just grasping at straws now.

    Anyone qualify for the exception from the work test and get approved with just Dr's Cert? I'm not hopeful but it doesn't hurt to ask. Any advice?

  2. #2
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    I'm casual as well and won't make the required hours to receive maternity leave as I only did a few shifts in first 20weeks of pregnancy due to morning sickness. from your employers view it wouldn't really be unpaid sick leave though - because as a casual you aren't entitled to 'sick leave' - you just turn down shifts/don't work. If that makes sense? Well that's what I assumed in my case, but you have me thinking now! Will be interested in others experiences too...Maybe pop in to Centrelink and see what they suggest. Good luck!

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    BindiBoosMama  (31-05-2016)

  4. #3
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    Hey, thanks for the reply

    I know it's not technically unpaid sick leave, but being on the phone to centrelink multiple times they all referred it as such because there was an verbal agreement that due to pregnancy illness I would not be rostered on for the period of sickness. If that makes any sense lol. It's really hard for casuals to sort this stuff out as nothing is guaranteed yet centrelink says yes you can if you provide evidence of otherwise guaranteed work. It's a bit ridiculous

  5. #4
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    Well that is promising! I just assumed as I was casual and wasn't guaranteed work anyway, that i wouldn't really be able to apply for special circumstances for hours as even if I wasn't sick I may not have been offered enough hours. I'm not sure my employer would write a letter either. My morning sickness wasn't fun, but it wasn't debilitating, I just chose not to push myself - didn't even think about it then coming back to bite me for not qualifying with enough hours for mat leave! Oh well... Maybe you could just try with the doctors letter first and if that isn't accepted, contact the manager and show them the doctors letter and explain the situation. Even though they don't know you, they may be able to look at how often you worked prior to falling pregnant and see that had you not been sick you would have done x amount of hours. Just explain to your doctor as well - make sure it's a good detailed/well written letter and not just one sentence and hopefully then you don't even have to worry about sorting it out with the new management of your work.

  6. #5
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    Contact your companies head office, the human resource department will provide you with a letter confirming your employment status during that time..

    The bigger the organization, the easier this will be. I'd probably phone them first, have a chat and maybe pop all the details into an email, explain what you need and why, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Also, one place I worked, the system automatically generated a pay slip for every employee, regardless of if they did no shifts. It was a running joke as to how much time, effort and expense went into generating a blank pay slip. It literally had the casual employees name, address and payroll number on it, and blank everywhere else. If your work does this, well that will help your case in proving that you were employed and just unable to work those weeks.

    Hope that helps..

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    BindiBoosMama  (31-05-2016)

  8. #6
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    Keep pushing. Do Not Give Up! You are entitled to it and you should get it. You had a medical reason why you couldn't work, and the sick certificates from your dr made it so they legally couldn't offer you shifts. The exact wording is 'a letter confirming inability to work due to pregnancy complications'. If you gave the Med Certs, you qualify. Follow up with HR dept, if not try places like fair work. It's something you can give your family and it's not your fault there has been management turnovers.

    I am in a similar boat as I had to go on special maternity leave at 25 weeks, and I have to chase up a letter too. I think workplaces legally have to keep track of workers. If HR won't help, my next step would be Fairwork and they can guide you.

    Please, follow this up and don't give up as the money makes a big difference and you are eligible and entitled. It's not your fault that you're in this position

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    BindiBoosMama  (31-05-2016)


 

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