Exceptions to the work test
Exceptions to the work test may apply in certain circumstances.
Exceptions may apply if you stopped working due to one of the following:
- premature birth
- pregnancy related illness or complication
- dangerous job or hazards in the workplace.
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 an earlier work test period.
What happens if you have a 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.
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.
Not everyone who had to stop work due to coronavirus will meet the Dangerous Jobs provision. You must provide proof of your work circumstances and that you stopped work because of the risk to your pregnancy. You need to provide both:
- proof of your work circumstances from your employer
- proof of the risk to your pregnancy from a medical professional.
Proof of work
You’ll need to provide proof confirming both of the following:
- what the workplace hazards were
- they were part of the work you were doing before your child’s birth.
The proof 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 (if they are a medical professional)
- a copy of your industry regulations or guidelines that confirm you were unable to continue working due to your pregnancy.
Page last updated: 4 May 2020
This information was printed 2 July 2020 from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/parental-leave-pay/who-can-get-it/meeting-work-test/exceptions-work-test. It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.