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Human Resources

51. Parental leave

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

51.2 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 caregiver leave, which is available to an employee who is the child’s primary caregiver and who is either the child’s birth mother; or adoptive parent; or parent through a surrogacy arrangement; or the birth mother’s partner.
  • adoption leave, which is available to an employee who becomes the legal parent of a child, either through adoption or through a surrogacy arrangement and is the child’s primary caregiver;
  • partner leave, which is available to an employee who is not the child’s primary caregiver but who is the partner of the birth mother of the child; or is an adoptive parent of the child.

51.3 Where the partner of the birth mother is also an employee of the University, the aggregate of any periods of parental leave cannot exceed fifty-two (52) weeks. Both the birth mother and the partner are entitled to take up to eight (8) weeks of unpaid leave at the same time commencing immediately after the birth or by agreement up to six (6) weeks after the birth. The concurrent leave may be taken in separate periods, however each period must not be less than two (2) weeks unless agreed by the relevant Delegate.

51.4 Maternity leave


51.4.1 An employee with  twelve (12) months continuous service (as at the medically certified expected date of birth) who becomes pregnant will be entitled to fifty-two (52) weeks leave of which a maximum of  fourteen (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 twelve (12) month period.

51.4.2 An employee who becomes pregnant and does not have twelve (12) months continuous service, will be entitled to a maximum of twenty-six (26) weeks maternity leave without pay, of which not less than six (6) weeks will be taken after the date of birth.

51.4.3 A casual employee with twelve (12) months service is entitled to unpaid leave.

51.4.4
It is expected that an employee who accesses the period of paid maternity leave will return to the workplace for at least three (3) months following the period of parental leave.

51.5 Primary caregiver’s leave


51.5.1 A continuing or fixed term employee will be eligible for paid primary caregiver’s leave

(a) if they are the birth mother of the child; or

(b) they are the partner of the birth mother; or

(c) they are the legal parent of the child, either by adoption or through a surrogacy arrangement; and

  • they are eligible for paid maternity leave or paid partner leave; and
  • they will be the primary caregiver for the child for the duration of the period of the primary caregiver’s leave.

51.5.2 An employee is entitled to a six (6) week block of primary caregiver’s leave to be taken following any maternity, partner or adoption leave taken in relation to the child, within twenty-six (26) weeks of the medically certified expected date of birth or adoption rate.

5.1.5.3 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.

51.5.4 Where both parents are University employees, the periods of paid leave cannot be taken at the same time.

51.5.5 Where both parents are eligible University employees, the combined primary caregiver's entitlement is twelve (12) weeks.  This entitlement may be utilised by either partner but not concurrently.

51.6 Partner leave

51.6.1 An employee who is a father of an expected or newly born child, or partner of the birth mother or legal parent through adoption or a surrogacy arrangement or who accepts the responsibility for the care and maintenance of an expected or newly born child, is entitled to partner leave.

51.6.2
An employee with twelve (12) months continuous service will be entitled to up to fifty-two (52) weeks partner leave, of which two (2) weeks are at normal salary. The two (2) weeks at normal salary may be taken in separate periods of no less than one (1) day.

51.6.3
The paid leave is to be taken during the period commencing one (1) week prior to the expected date of birth to no less than five (5) weeks after the date of birth.

51.6.4 The unpaid component of up to fifty (50) weeks cannot be extended beyond the child’s first birthday.

51.7 Adoption leave

51.7.1 An employee with twelve (12) months continuous service, who assumes the principal role of providing care for an adopted child, or who assumes the principal role of providing care for a child born through a surrogacy arrangement, is entitled to a period of fifty-two (52) weeks leave, of which up to fourteen (14) weeks of unbroken leave will be taken at normal salary.

51.7.2
The fourteen (14) weeks of paid leave will be taken at the time of the placement of the child.

51.7.3 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.

51.8 General conditions relating to parental leave

51.8.1 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.

51.8.2 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.

51.8.3 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.

51.8.4 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 Delegate 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.

51.9 Special provisions for exceptional circumstances

51.9.1 Maternity leave

51.9.1.1 In cases where:

  • 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 twelve (12) months from birth or placement,

leave will be provided in accordance with the University Policies and Procedures, and these procedures will not be changed without consultation with employees and the Unions through the Staff Consultative Committee.

The employee will be entitled to apply for:

(a) leave in accordance with the University Policies and Procedures;

(b) paid special leave; and

(c) 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 they desire to resume work.

In considering applications for paid special leave, the relevant Delegate will take into account the period of maternity leave entitlement.

51.9.2 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.