The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

2.2.5 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: 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 2018. Several months later, Elyse's pregnancy was confirmed with 15 October 2019 established as the expected DOB of her baby. Because of high blood pressure, (pregnancy induced hypertension), 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 2019. Her baby was born prematurely on 20 September 2019. Centrelink is satisfied that Elyse would have met the work test requirement (that is, working for at least 330 hours in the 295 days in the 392 days before the birth with no more than 84 days between consecutive working days) but for pregnancy related complications, and she is eligible for PLP.

Example: 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.

From 1 July 2020, a person can count flexible PPL days (1.1.F.70) claimed (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim.

From 30 March 2020, a day on which a person is entitled to jobkeeper payment can count as qualifying work for the purposes of the work test for PLP.

For claims on or after 4 September 2021, a day on which a person is entitled to the COVID-19 disaster payment from 3 June 2021 can count as a day of qualifying work for the purposes of the work test for PLP.

Act reference: PPLAct Part 2-3 Division 2—When a person is eligible for PLP, section 36 When there is a permissible break, 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 flexible PPL day, section 35B Hours of qualifying work on a day in a jobkeeper payment period, section 35C Hours of qualifying work on a day in a COVID-19 Australian Government payment period

PPL Rules Part 2 Division 3—Matters relating to the work test

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.1 PLP eligibility overview, 1.1.Q.20 Qualifying work

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