188.8.131.52 Premature birth & pregnancy-related complications or illness for PLP
Work test requirements
If the child was born prematurely (1.1.B.30) or the mother suffered complications or illness related to the pregnancy which prevented her from working, the birth mother may still meet the work test requirements if Centrelink is satisfied that she would have met the work test but for the premature birth or pregnancy-related complications or illness which prevented her from performing paid work.
Example 1: After a 3-year period out of the workforce caring for her first child, Elyse commenced working full-time in the public service on 1 November 2011. Several months later, Elyse's pregnancy was confirmed with 15 October 2012 established as the expected DOB of her baby. Because of high blood pressure, (pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)), she was required to undertake a period of complete bed rest to help prevent pre-term birth, so Elyse commenced unpaid leave from her job on 19 August 2012. Her baby was born prematurely on 20 September 2012. Centrelink is satisfied that Elyse would have met the work test requirement (i.e. working for at least 330 hours in the 295 days in the 392 days before the birth with no more than 56 days between consecutive working days) but for pregnancy related complications, and she is eligible for PLP.
Example 2: Nina had a history of miscarriages during the first trimester of pregnancy. When Nina believed that she was again pregnant, on medical advice she elected to take a period of leave without pay from her full-time job of 6 years to minimise the possibility of another miscarriage. She returned to work full-time after 99 days of leave without pay and so did not meet the usual work test requirement of having a qualifying period of 295 consecutive days. On producing medical certification of her circumstances and confirming that she would have been at work during the period of leave without pay but for her pregnancy, Centrelink is satisfied that Nina is eligible for PLP and would have met the work test requirements but for pregnancy related complications.
For children born or entrusted to care as part of an adoption process on or after 1 March 2014, a person can count the days in their previous period of PLP and/or DAPP (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim.
If a person is expecting a child on or after 1 March 2014, and the child is born prematurely before 1 March 2014, the claim will be assessed on the pre-1 March 2014 work test rules, i.e. they cannot count the days in their previous period of PLP and/or DAPP (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim.
Act reference: PPLAct Part 2-3 Division 2 When a person is eligible for PLP, section 36A Premature birth or pregnancy-related complications or illness, section 34 When a person performs qualifying work, section 35A Hours of qualifying work on a day in a PPL or DAPP period