35 Parental Leave

The Leave Management Rule and the Leave Management Procedures provide additional detail relating to Prenatal, Partner and Parental Leave.

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  1. Academic and ELC Teaching Staff Collective Agreement 2014–2017
    1. In this clause:
      1. “Parent” includes step-parent, co-parent, biological, adoptive or foster parent
      2. “Partner” means spouse, former partner, de facto or same sex partner
      3. “Adoption”, in relation to a child, is a reference to a child who: is not the natural child or step-child of the employee or the employee’s partner
      4. “Estimated date of birth” (EDB) means the day certified by a medical practitioner to be the day on which the employee or the employee’s partner, as the case may be, is expected to give birth to a child.
    2. Full-time continuing employees are entitled to parental leave in accordance with this clause.
    3. Part time continuing employees are entitled to parental leave on a pro-rata basis.
    4. A fixed-term employee will only be granted that proportion of paid and/or unpaid parental leave where the period of leave falls within the time span of their contract of employment. If the fixed-term employee is subsequently employed under another contract, he or she may extend the date for return from parental leave over the second contract.
    5. Casual employees are not entitled to paid parental leave as prescribed in this clause but are eligible to take up to 52 consecutive weeks unpaid parental leave where the casual employee has been employed on a regular and systematic basis during a period of at least 12 months and who, but for the expected birth or expected placement of a child, would have a reasonable expectation of ongoing employment on a regular and systematic basis.



      Maternity/Primary Carer

      Leave for the primary carer on the birth of a child

      Up to 52 weeks in total

      Consisting of:

      • 26 weeks on full pay plus 26 weeks unpaid; or
      • 52 weeks on half pay;   or
      • Any combination of full pay, half pay and/or leave without pay agreed between the employee and the University which is equivalent to 26 weeks full pay but not exceeding 52 weeks total leave.
      • Where both parents   are employed by the University, the paid leave component of parental leave may be shared by both parents (that is, a maximum combined payment between both parties of 26 weeks pay) to a maximum combined absence of 52 weeks, provided that the parental leave conditions are met. In this event, only one employee can be on maternity leave at any one time.
      • Leave may commence up   to 20 weeks before and must commence no later than the actual date of birth.
      • A pregnant employee   who requires leave to deal with sickness as a result of pregnancy and who is   within six (6) weeks of the EDB will normally commence maternity / primary   carer leave.
      • Additional leave   beyond 52 weeks can be negotiated on the birth of a child with a severe   disability, congenital illness or in the case of a multiple birth.


      To give care and support to the mother

      8 weeks in total

      Consisting of:

      • 3 weeks on full pay   plus
      • Up to 5 weeks unpaid
      • Where the mother is   not employed by UNE, an additional period, or periods of leave without pay   provided the total absence on partner leave will not exceed 52 weeks
      • Paid leave to be   taken in the period between 3 months prior to and 3 months after the EDB


      Leave for the primary carer of an adopted child

      52 weeks in total

      Consisting of:

      • 12 weeks full pay; or
      • 24 weeks on half pay;   or
      • Any combination,   mutually agreed, equivalent to 12 weeks full pay and remainder unpaid but not   exceeding 52 weeks total leave
      • Leave to commence on the date of placement of the child


      Primary carer of a foster child younger than 5 years

      Child 5 years or older on long term placement

      In any one 12 month period, leave consisting of:

      • 105 hours paid leave; or
      • 210 hours leave on half pay
      • 56 hours paid leave; or
      • 105 hours leave on   half pay
      • Leave to be taken from the time the child enters their care

      Child Rearing

      Care of pre-school age children up to 6 years

      Consisting of:

      • 52 weeks unpaid
      • Further unpaid leave
      • In addition to and   following on from any form of parental leave, 52 weeks unpaid child rearing leave shall be made available to employees for the care of pre-school age children.
      • An employee may apply   for an extension to child rearing leave beyond the 52 weeks. Applications will be assessed taking into account any special circumstances that may apply together with the University’s operational requirements. Approval will not be unreasonably withheld.
      • Return to work plan to be negotiated.


      Consisting of paid leave totalling 21 hours for a pregnant woman

      • Can be accessed after   12 weeks of pregnancy


      An employee who is breastfeeding will be entitled to regular breaks in paid time for lactation purposes.

      • Clean, private space   with access to a refrigerator will be provided for the purpose of breast   feeding and/or expressing milk during breaks.
    7. The University will not refuse employment, or affect the employment of an employee, or take any other action that disadvantages an employee on the grounds of pregnancy, possible pregnancy, breastfeeding, a request for parental leave or a possible request for leave essential to addressing work and family responsibilities.
    8. Fixed term Employees

    9. The University must not refuse to re-engage a fixed term employee because:
      1. the employee or employee’s partner is pregnant; or
      2. the employee is or has been immediately absent on parental leave.
    10. The paid component of any maternity/primary carer or adoption leave must be taken first, and cannot be interspersed with other types of leave. Accrued annual and long service leave can be utilised to extend the period of paid leave.
    11. Parental leave cannot be taken in broken periods unless mutually agreed for career development purposes.
    12. Parental leave does not break continuity of service.
    13. Only the paid portion of any parental leave taken will count for service or accrual for the calculation of annual or long service leave entitlements.
    14. All leave accruals and employer superannuation contributions during the period of paid parental leave at half pay will be on a pro rata basis.
    15. If requested by an employee, any paid portion of maternity leave or adoption leave may be paid as a lump sum. Employees will be advised that this may have a negative effect on their superannuation and tax obligations.
    16. If a pregnancy terminates by miscarriage or still birth after twenty (20) weeks of pregnancy have elapsed, or the child dies shortly after birth, an employee shall be entitled to a maximum of four weeks paid maternity leave.
    17. If a pregnancy terminates by miscarriage before twenty (20) weeks of pregnancy, an employee is entitled to use sick leave to cover any absence.
    18. An employee who becomes pregnant while on parental leave is entitled to a further period of parental leave. The normal conditions contained in this Clause apply to the second period of parental leave but any remaining parental leave from the former pregnancy lapses as soon as the new period of parental leave begins.
    19. Replacement employees

    20. A replacement employee is an employee specifically engaged or temporarily promoted or transferred, as a result of an employee proceeding on parental leave.
    21. All replacement employees recruited to fill a vacancy due to parental leave, are to be informed, upon appointment, that employment is the result of a vacancy due to parental leave and is subject to termination or variation according to the parental leave arrangements exercised by the employee being replaced.
    22. Return to work

    23. Except in the case of a position being made redundant, an employee returning to duty from parental leave will be entitled to return to their substantive position. If the substantive position is redundant, the provisions of the workplace change clause will apply.
    24. Subject to operational requirements of the University, an employee, may upon application, return to work part-time until the child reaches school age before resuming full-time work.
    25. Once an employee has returned to work, any further working arrangements will be considered through the Flexible and Family Working Arrangements.
    26. Documentation

    27. Appropriate certification relating to the birth, adoption or fostering of the child must be produced if required by the University.
    28. For partner or primary carer leave, appropriate documentation (which may be a statutory declaration) will be required to prove the relationship to the child.


    29. All paid parental leave entitlements pursuant to this clause will be centrally funded by the University.
    30. While an employee is on parental leave, and where requested, the employee will be regularly updated on developments in the University.  This may include providing the employee with relevant University information such as newsletters and minutes of meetings. An employee on parental leave may also:
      1. access professional development opportunities, activities and functions; or
      2. make application and be considered for internal jobs or secondment opportunities where they indicate that they are available to take up any resulting offers.
    31. Employees returning from Parental Leave will receive a briefing from their supervisor on the latest changes and developments in their position and work area.
    32. An employee during their Parental Leave will be consulted concerning any significant change in responsibilities proposed for the employee’s substantive position.
    33. Where an employee is unable to perform their normal duties due to pregnancy or breastfeeding, the University will facilitate appropriate adjustments to their duties and/or work location.
    34. Notice Requirements

    35. Employees are required to provide the following notice and documentation to the University:
    36. Event

      Period of Notice

      Expected date of birth (EDB)

      10 weeks

      Date parental leave is to commence and the length of leave to be taken unless the expected date of birth or adoption/fostering of a child takes place earlier than the expected date

      4 weeks

      Intention to extend leave including intended period of extended leave (within the provisions of this agreement)

      14 days prior to expiration of original leave

      Intention to return to work at expiration of leave

      4 weeks

      Intention to return to work where

      the pregnancy terminates otherwise than by the birth of a living child; or

      the employee gives birth to a living child but the child later dies

      4 weeks

      Request for child rearing leave

      3 months

      Application for extension to child rearing leave

      3 months prior to expiration of original child rearing leave

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