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Dr Rahul Sen | Specialist care for birth and beyond | Sydney, Australia

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Pregnancy Planning – Maternity Leave

If you are planning a pregnancy in the nearest future, it is important to think about your maternity leave.

Sometimes a few months could be the difference between whether or not you’re entitled to take leave or whether you are eligible for a maternity leave payment.

That’s why in today’s article we would like to help you understand your situation when it comes to maternity leave entitlement in Australia.

Here are five important maternity leave questions you should ask yourself before you decide to have a baby.

1. What are your personal circumstances?

  • Discuss your plans with your partner – make sure you both agree on plans for after the baby arrives regarding care and family income.
  • When would you like to start your leave?
  • When would you like to return to work?
  • Is your partner planning to take parental leave as well?

2. What is your financial situation?

Preparing for the baby’s arrival can cost a lot of money. Setting up a nursery might be expensive and of course there are ongoing costs as your child grows.

  • What will be the financial implications for your family?
  • Do you have savings or an emergency fund to fall back on if necessary?
  • What is your current cost of living and how will this change once the baby arrives?

3. Are you entitled to any Government assistance?

The Federal government offers various regular payments to help towards the cost of raising children, many of which are dependent upon your level of income.

  • Once the baby is born, what kind of financial compensation will you receive from the government?
  • What is the current amount of Parental Leave Pay in Australia? Are you entitled to it and over what time frame will it be paid?
  • How will the amounts of these benefits be affected if you are on paid/unpaid leave?

4. What is your employer’s maternity leave policy?

Maternity leave offered by different companies across Australia vary widely.

  • How long do you need to work for your employer before you become eligible for maternity leave?
  • How much notice are you required to give before you can start your leave?

5. Have you made any backup plan in case of unexpected changes in circumstance?

  • Consider what may happen if unforeseen circumstances should strike, for example, what would you do if your partner lost their job while you were on maternity leave?
  • Allow for your emotions and expectations to change drastically after the baby is born – you may be convinced you are happy to leave your child in daycare at the young age and return to work, but you may feel differently once he or she arrives.

Find out more about pregnancy planning here: