Case

Updated time

Last updated

08 July 2016

1979 Maternity Leave Case

Maternity Leave Case (1979) 218 CAR 120 – Coldham J, Gaudron J, Taylor Deputy Presidents, Matthews and Cohen Commissioners, Decision issued 9 March 1979, Print D9576

The Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission sets a standard of 12 months unpaid maternity leave for permanent employees. The entitlement includes a 12-month qualifying period for full and part-time workers and a maximum total maternity leave provision of 52 weeks. It also includes a compulsory period of 6 weeks' leave immediately following confinement; provision for transfer to a 'safe job' until maternity leave commences; and access to special maternity leave where the pregnancy terminates, other than by the birth of a living child. The maternity leave standard is soon extended to all federal and state awards (covering around 70 per cent of workers), but paid maternity leave is still largely confined to the public sector.