With an unplanned pregnancy you and your employer were probably not expecting changes to your working arrangements and income. Pick your own time to tell your employer, you are the best judge of when and what to say. If you've recently started a new job or accepted new responsibilities this conversation may be quite hard. You could also talk about your plans for returning to work and how you'd like to keep in touch during your absence. Some women experience great support and family friendly practice in their workplace, unfortunately others have negative experiences.
If you have been working for your employer for twelve months you are entitled under Australian law to take up to a year of unpaid parental leave.
Australia now has a government-funded paid parental leave scheme. The scheme allows 18 weeks for the primary carer of a child, paid at the national minimum wage, which can be transferred between parents and taken at any time in the first year after birth or adoption. You must have worked 330 hours within the year before the birth to be eligible. If you are pregnant and currently employed contact your employer or the Family Assistance Office to find out more.
Under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 you are also legally protected from discrimination in employment, whether you are a full-time, part-time, or casual employee, on the basis of pregnancy, marital status, and family responsibilities. That means that if your employer attempts to terminate your employment, reduce your hours, demote you, or does not offer training because you are pregnant then your legal rights may have been violated.
For more information contact:
Queensland Working Women’s Service
Advisory service on all work related issues.
Australian Government Fair Work Ombudsman
Information on wages and employment conditions.
Information and advocacy service on all forms of discrimination.