52. Parental Leave

52.1 For the purpose of this clause an employee excludes casual employees.

52.2 Parental leave is leave associated with the birth or adoption of a child. Parental leave includes:

  • maternity leave, (paid or unpaid) which is available only to an employee who is the child’s birth mother;
  • primary care-giver leave, which is available to an employee who is the child’s primary care-giver and who is either the child’s birth mother; or adoptive parent; or where both parents are University employees, the birth mother’s partner.
  • adoption leave, which is available to a employee who becomes the legal parent of a child and is the child’s primary care-giver;
  • partner leave, which is available to an employee who is not the child’s primary care-giver but who is the partner of the birth mother of the child; or is an adoptive parent of the child.

52.3 Where the partner of the birth mother is also an employee of the University, the aggregate of any periods of parental leave cannot exceed 52 weeks. This excludes any periods of paid parental leave taken by the non-primary care giver. In addition to this:

(a) An employee is not entitled to take unpaid parental leave when his or her partner is on unpaid parental leave.

(b) If the employee contravenes sub-section (a), the period of unpaid parental leave that the employee is entitled to is reduced by the period of unpaid leave taken by his or her partner.

52.4 Maternity Leave

52.4.1 An employee with 12 months continuous service (as at the medically certified expected date of birth) who becomes pregnant will be entitled to 52 weeks leave of which a maximum of 14 weeks will be paid at the normal salary. In calculating an employee’s normal salary the University will consider the employee’s average service fraction for the preceding 12 month period.

52.4.2 An employee who becomes pregnant and does not have 12 months continuous service, will be entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks maternity leave without pay, of which not less than six weeks will be taken after the date of birth.

52.4.3 A casual employee with 12 months service is entitled to unpaid leave.

52.4.4 It is expected that an employee who accesses the period of paid maternity leave will return to the workplace for at least three months following the period of parental leave. Where this does not occur due to the resignation of the employee such monies may be required to be refunded to the University who may also deduct such amounts from any amounts owing to the employee upon their resignation.

52.5 Primary Care-Giver’s Leave

52.5.1 A continuing or fixed term employee will be eligible for paid primary care-giver’s leave

(a) if she is the birth mother of the child; or

(b) he or she is the partner of the birth mother who is a University employee; or

(c) he or she is the adoptive parent of the child; and

  • he or she has been continuously employed by the University for 12 months at the commencement of the period of maternity leave; and
  • he or she will be the primary care-giver for the child for the duration of the period of the primary care-giver’s leave.

52.5.2 An employee is entitled to six (6) weeks’ primary care-givers leave to be taken immediately following any maternity, partner or adoption leave taken in relation to the child. A further six (6) weeks of paid leave can be accessed by an eligible employee for the same child which may be taken at a time agreed with the employee’s supervisor, up to the child’s second birthday. Where both parents are University employees, the periods of paid leave cannot be taken at the same time.

52.6 Partner Leave

52.6.1 An employee who is a father of, or who accepts the responsibility for the care and maintenance of an expected or newly born child, is entitled to partner leave.

52.6.2 An employee with 12 months continuous service will be entitled to up to 52 weeks partner leave, of which two weeks are at normal salary. The two weeks at normal salary may be taken in separate periods of no less than one day

52.6.3 The paid leave is to be taken during the period commencing one week prior to the expected date of birth to no less than five weeks after the date of birth.

52.6.4 The unpaid component of up to 50 weeks cannot be extended beyond the child’s first birthday.

52.7 Adoption Leave

52.7.1 An employee with 12 months continuous service, who assumes the principal role of providing care for an adopted child, is entitled to a period of 52 weeks leave, of which up to 14 weeks of unbroken leave will be taken at normal salary.

52.7.2 The 14 weeks of paid leave will be taken at the time of the placement of the child.

52.7.3 An employee who is seeking to adopt a child is entitled to up to two (2) days unpaid leave to attend compulsory interviews or examinations as part of the adoption procedure.

52.8 General Conditions Relating to Parental Leave

52.8.1 Periods of approved parental leave will not break the continuity of service of an employee. However, leave entitlements and other benefits will be limited as follows:

(a) Periods of paid parental leave will count as continuous service for all purposes.

(b) Periods of unpaid parental leave will not count as continuous service for the purpose of annual leave, personal leave, long service leave, incremental progression and superannuation.

52.8.2 An employee returning to work after parental leave will be entitled to be employed in:

(a) the position, salary and classification level held by the employee immediately before starting parental leave; or

(b) if the employee worked on a fractional basis because of the pregnancy before starting maternity leave – the position held by the employee immediately before starting fractional employment;

(c) if the employee was transferred to a safe job before starting maternity leave – the position held by the employee immediately before the transfer.

52.8.3 Where significant changes to the role or duties of the position occur during the employee’s absence on parental leave, the employee will be consulted prior to the implementation of such changes.

52.8.4  An employee returning to work after parental leave may return on either a full-time or fractional basis, subject to the operational needs of the workplace and the mutual agreement of the delegated officer and the employee:

(a) Where the employee returns on a fractional basis, salary and entitlements will be adjusted accordingly.

(b) Any period of fractional employment will initially be approved for a maximum period of two (2) years from the return to work date.

(c) Within six (6) weeks prior to the expiry of the fractional employment agreement the arrangement will be reviewed taking into account the organisational needs of the University and the family responsibilities of the employee. At this time the fractional arrangement may be:

(i) confirmed on a continuing basis; or

(ii) extended (subject to further reviews to be conducted at least annually); or

(iii) ceased.

Such determination is to be made at the University’s discretion.

52.9 Special provisions for exceptional circumstances

52.9.1 Maternity Leave

52.9.1.1 In cases where:

  • the employee suffers illness related to her pregnancy; or
  • the employee’s pregnancy terminates before the expected date of birth, other than by the birth of a living child; or
  • the death of the employee’s child occurs within 12 months from birth or placement,

special maternity leave will be provided in accordance with the procedures contained in Human Resources Policies and Procedures, and these procedures will not be changed without consultation with employees or the Unions through the Staff Consultative Committee.

52.9.1.2 Where an employee suffers illness related to pregnancy, for as long as a doctor certifies it to be necessary, or for the period granted by the Vice-Chancellor in relation to special leave, the employee is entitled to apply for the following types of leave:
(a) paid personal leave, either instead of, or as well as, special maternity leave; and/or

(b) unpaid leave (“special maternity leave”) and/or

(c) paid special leave

52.9.1.3 Where a pregnancy terminates in other than the birth of a living child or where the child dies during the period of paid maternity leave, the employee will continue to be entitled to apply for:

(a) paid special leave; and

(b) resume work at a time mutually agreed between the University and the employee which will not exceed five (5) weeks from the date of notice in writing by the employee to the University that he/she desires to resume work.

In considering applications for paid special leave, the Vice-Chancellor will take into account the period of maternity leave entitlement.

52.9.2 Adoption Leave

An employee who is seeking to adopt a child is entitled to up to two (2) days unpaid leave to attend compulsory interviews or examinations as part of the adoption procedure.