Do you get maternity pay if the baby is stillborn?

In Australia, the eligibility for maternity pay and entitlements in the event of a stillbirth can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the policies of the employer and government programs.

Maternity pay and benefits are typically designed to support individuals during the period of childbirth and caring for a newborn. However, the availability of these benefits and the specific conditions for eligibility can differ.

In general, if a stillbirth occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy, it may be considered a childbirth event for the purpose of accessing maternity-related benefits. This could include government-funded paid parental leave or employer-provided maternity leave.

When facing stillbirth, government funding provides two options. You could choose between any one of the two: Parental Leave Pay (Maternity pay) or Stillborn Baby Payment.

You may be able to get any of the two payments if all of the following apply:

  • you recently had a baby who was stillborn
  • you or your partner would have been the baby’s main carer
  • you meet the residence rules about living in Australia
  • you meet an income test.

You can’t get Stillborn Baby Payment and Parental Leave Pay for the same baby. But, your family may be able to get Stillborn Baby Payment and Dad and Partner Pay for the same baby.

With regard to your employer, while the employee won’t be entitled to take special maternity leave if the infant is stillborn, she will be entitled to the full 14 weeks’ paid or unpaid maternity leave. As with paid maternity leave, this can be taken at full or half-pay depending on the organizational policy.

To obtain accurate and up-to-date information about maternity pay and entitlements in the case of a stillbirth, it is advisable to check the policies of your specific employer and consult with relevant government agencies.

Services like the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services or Fair Work Ombudsman can provide detailed information on entitlements and benefits related to maternity leave, including provisions for stillbirth situations.