Exceptions to the work test

If you have pregnancy related complications, a premature birth or stopped work due to a dangerous job, exceptions may apply.

You need to show you would have met the work test, if you didn’t experience either:

  • pregnancy related illness or complications
  • premature birth.

If you meet the Dangerous Jobs provision, you need to meet the work test in your different work test period.

What happens if you have pregnancy related illness or complications

You may meet the work test if you stopped work earlier than expected, as a direct result of your pregnancy. This may be because you either:

  • had a medical condition that got worse because of your pregnancy
  • developed an illness or complication with your pregnancy.

You’ll need to give us proof from both your doctor and your employer.

Proof from your doctor

You need to provide proof from your doctor or the hospital confirming the following about your illness or complication:

  • what it was
  • the date it started
  • that it prevented or reduced your ability to work
  • that it’s directly related to your pregnancy.

For example, you need to prove that your pregnancy was the reason a pre-existing condition got worse.

Proof from your employer

You’ll also need to provide proof from your employer. This needs to include both:

  • the date you stopped working
  • that you would’ve kept working during the work test period if you didn’t experience the illness or complication.

Proof if you’re self employed

If you’re self employed, you need to prove your ability to work reduced during the work test period. This may include the following:

  • existing and new contracts
  • self-declaration of self-employment status and the intention for the business to continue
  • a letter or declaration from your accountant confirming past and expected future of business
  • notifications of change to business activity
  • employment of a staff member to perform your usual work activities.

What happens if you have a premature birth

If your child’s born early, there are exceptions. If this occurs, we include the work you would have performed up until your child's expected date of birth.

When you claim, you need to provide the following proof:

  • your child’s expected date of birth, from a doctor or hospital
  • the dates you had planned to work during your work test period, from your employer.

What happens if you have a dangerous job

If your child’s birth is on or after 1 January 2020, you may meet the new Dangerous Jobs provision.

It will only relate to you if all of the following apply:

  • you’re pregnant or the birth mother of a newborn child
  • your child’s date of birth is on or after 1 January 2020
  • you had to stop work because a workplace hazard was a risk to your pregnancy
  • you won't meet the work requirements in the 13 month work test period ending the day before your child’s birth.

If you meet the Dangerous Jobs provision, we’ll move your work test period. It will no longer be the 13 month period ending the day before your child’s birth. Instead, your 13 month work test period will end the day you stopped work.

You’ll still need to meet the work test in this earlier period to be eligible for Parental Leave Pay.

Proof of work

You’ll need to provide proof confirming the type of work you were doing before your child’s birth. This may include:

  • a letter from your employer
  • a copy of your contract or workplace agreement
  • a statutory declaration of your job description, if you’re self-employed.

Proof of the risk to your pregnancy

You’ll also need to provide proof that you stopped work because workplace hazards were a risk to your pregnancy. This may include:

  • a medical certificate
  • a letter from your employer
  • a copy of your industry regulations or guidelines that confirm you were unable to continue working due to your pregnancy.

Page last updated: 4 November 2019