1. Purpose of the policy
The following policy recognises that parental leave is a basic necessity to achieve equality in the workplace and for staff to reconcile their work and family responsibilities. The policy provides eligible staff with access to parental leave when they become a significant or primary carer for a new child. This policy is implemented in accordance with the principles of equal opportunity and the University will not refuse employment or disadvantage a staff member on the grounds of pregnancy, possible pregnancy, a request for parental leave or a possible request for parental leave.
2. Application of policy
This policy applies to all staff of the University.
Child means a newly adopted child or newly fostered child between 1 and 5 years of age except where the staff member is able to demonstrate a special need to care for an older child.
Eligible staff means all staff who have completed 12 months continuous service.
New child means a new baby, newly adopted baby or newly fostered baby up to one year of age.
Primary carer is a staff member who has full-time responsibility for the day-to-day care and nurturing of a new child or child. This can include a fostering arrangement that is intended to be long-term or when a staff member has recently become a guardian where the guardianship is intended to be long-term.
Significant carer is a staff member whose partner has become a primary carer of a new child.
4. Parental leave
Parental leave is available to eligible staff as paid leave, unpaid leave or a combination of both to a maximum of 52 weeks when they become a significant or primary carer for a new child.
The period of parental leave is reduced by any amount of paid or unpaid parental leave taken by a spouse for the primary care of the same child.
Parental leave is an individual entitlement and there is no restriction on the number of times a staff member can take such leave leave.
A period of parental leave will count as continuous service for all purposes except for calculating recreation leave entitlements and superannuation contributions, which are limited to the period for which paid leave is granted.
A fixed-term or casual appointment will not be extended to accommodate a period of parental leave. Paid parental leave will not be paid beyond the end date of a fixed-term appointment.
The Cost Centre Manager and a staff member may, by mutual agreement, suspend a probationary period if a period of parental leave occurs during the probationary period.
A staff member on parental leave may apply for appointment to a vacant position, promotion and staff development opportunities including professional development programs and will not be denied appointment or access solely on the basis of being on parental leave.
Staff on paid parental leave who make compulsory superannuation contributions will continue to pay employee contributions and the University will continue to pay employer contributions during the period of paid leave.
5. Types of parental leave
Eligible staff - staff who have completed 12 months continuous service, except those appointed on a casual basis:
|Types of parental leave||Purpose of the leave||Maximum duration||Paid (pro-rata for fractional staff) / Unpaid|
|Maternity leave||To be the primary carer of a new child||Twenty six weeks||Paid|
|Adoption leave (Category A)||To be the primary carer of a new child||Twenty six weeks||Paid|
|Partner leave||To be the significant carer of a new child||Ten days||Paid|
|Adoption leave (Category B)||To be the primary carer of a child||Thirteen weeks||Paid|
|Unpaid parental leave||To be the primary carer of a new child||Fifty two weeks inclusive of any paid Parental Leave||Unpaid|
Adoption leave (Category A) refers to being the primary carer of a new child (up to one year of age).
Adoption leave (Category B) refers to being the primary carer of a child (between the ages one and five years).
6. Return to work
Staff returning from parental leave will normally return to the position occupied immediately prior to commencement of the leave. When this is not possible, the staff member will be offered another comparable position with no loss of salary, tenure or classification. Negotiations on an alternative position will occur between the staff member, relevant supervisor and relevant Cost Centre Manager.
Staff may request to return to work on a fractional basis for up to 12 months. Approval will depend on the requirements of the work area and the University and the mutual agreement of the Cost Centre Manager, supervisor and staff member. Other arrangements may be agreed upon between the Cost Centre Manager, supervisor, and the staff member.
Paid parental leave is granted on the understanding that the staff member will return to work at the end of the leave period for a minimum period equivalent to the period of leave.
Should a staff member resign and fail to return to work for the equivalent period of paid parental leave taken, then the full or outstanding amount of the cost of the paid parental leave benefit will be required to be repaid to the University.
7. Unplanned cessation of parental leave
If maternity leave has commenced, or has been applied for but not commenced, and the pregnancy of the staff member terminates other than by the birth of a living child after the 20th week of pregnancy, or upon the death of the child during the period of leave, then the staff member will be entitled to the full period of approved maternity leave. In addition, the staff member may apply for unpaid leave up to a period of 12 weeks or a longer period, up to a maximum of 52 weeks, if certified by a medical practitioner.
If long-term unpaid parental leave has commenced, and the staff member’s child dies during the period of leave, then the staff member may apply for unpaid leave up to a period of 12 weeks or a longer period, up to a maximum of 52 weeks, if certified by a medical practitioner.