38. Parental leave

38.1 A staff member with 12 months continuous service, who is not a casual staff member, shall be entitled to parental leave in accordance with this clause. A fixed term staff member will not be entitled to parental leave beyond the expiry of their contract.

38.2 For the purpose of this clause:

Child means a child (or children from a multiple birth) born to a staff member or a staff member's partner; or a child who is placed with a staff member through an adoption process and/or legal guardianship.

Parental leave means an unbroken period of adoption leave, maternity leave or partner leave. 

Partner leave means leave taken by a staff member in accordance with this clause. 

Primary care giver means the child's parent who has the dedicated responsibility for the day-to-day care of the child. 

Partner includes a current or former (except for Adoption leave) husband or wife, de facto partner or same sex partner.  

38.3  A staff member who becomes pregnant is entitled to up to 52 weeks parental leave as set out in the following table:

Provision Entitlement Condition
Paid maternity leave     20 weeks to normally commence 6 weeks prior to the nominal expected birth(s) on full or part pay.     Later commencement date possible if fit for duty supported by a medical certificate.
Birth mother or where both parents are staff members, the birth mother's partner, provided he/she is the primary caregiver of the child.

Leave after the first 14 weeks may be shared between the birth mother and her partner but not thereby increasing total of leave taken. Leave may be taken concurrently, subject to providing declaration to the delegate in relation to eligibility.
Unpaid parental leave Any portion of the child's first year that has not been taken as any form of paid parental leave.

Adoption leave

38.4  A staff member who adopts a child is entitled to up to 52 weeks adoption leave. The basic entitlements and conditions for adoption leave are as set out in the following table:


Provision Entitlement Condition
Paid adoption leave
for care of adopted child.
20 weeks from date of placement of the child, on full or part pay The staff member is the legal parent and the child's primary care-giver. The child must be at placement less than five years of age, not a step-child of staff member or partner, and not previously lived continuously with the staff member for 6 months or more. Leave may be shared between the parents but not thereby increased in total or taken concurrently.
Unpaid adoption leave for care of adopted child. Any portion of the first year of placement of the child that has not been taken as paid adoption leave.

Career re-entry assistance

38.5  In addition to parental leave and adoption leave entitlements above; a staff member is entitled to career re-entry assistance. The basic entitlements and conditions for career re-entry assistance are as set out in the following table:

Provision Entitlement Condition
Career re-entry assistance Up to the equivalent of 6 weeks pay to be used to assist with the staff member's return to work following parental or adoption leave.
Such leave will be available to the staff member who has taken paid and/or unpaid parental leave to be the primary care giver to the child (by birth or adoption) irrespective of whether the staff member was the birth mother.
Available to a staff member to facilitate their return to work, which may be taken during or after the 52 week parental or adoption leave period and up to the child's second birthday.

Subject to agreement with the delegate and taking into account operational reasons of the area the following assistance may be taken up by staff but is not limited to:
6 weeks paid leave taken in full or in agreed periods
Agreed graduated return to work program;
Agreed staff development opportunities such as funding or time release for work related conferences or study;
Funding for maintaining or re-establishing staff member's career;
Paid time release for facilitating care arrangements and/or for breastfeeding; or
Other career support activities or variations of leave up to the 6 weeks leave or the value of 6 weeks leave.

Such requests should not be unreasonably refused.

38.6  A staff member whose partner becomes pregnant or a staff member who is not the primary care-giver of an adopted child is entitled to leave as set out in the following table:

Provision Entitlement Condition
New birth/adoption leave 10 working days paid leave and 5 working days unpaid leave from birth of child or adoption placement. Partner of birth mother or one of two adoptive parents, but not primary caregiver.

Conditions for parental leave

38.7 Staff may be required to take any accrued annual leave in excess of 2 years entitlement prior to taking unpaid parental leave.

38.8  Paid parental leave will be granted at the staff member's substantive salary. Any temporary reduction in fraction associated with the pregnancy will be disregarded.

38.9  A staff member shall advise the University at least 10 weeks prior of their expected date of confinement of the date on which they propose to commence leave as well as the specific leave arrangements. Appropriate certification relating to the birth or adoption of the child must be provided with this application.

38.10  A staff member will be entitled to return from parental leave to their substantive position, or an agreed part time position or an agreed alternative position. A request for return to part time hours will not be unreasonably refused.

38.11  A staff member shall confirm their intention to return to work by providing the University with at least 4 weeks written notice of their expected date of return.

38.12  The staff member may request to return to work, or the University may notify the staff member that she or he must return to work, where during parental leave the pregnancy ends without the birth of a live child or the child dies, staff member ceases to be the primary care-giver or there is another material change in circumstances. Where the University requires a return to work, at least 4 weeks notice will be provided and notwithstanding this notice, any available maternity leave may be used where a medical practitioner certifies it to be necessary. Where the staff member requests to return to work, this will be allowed within 4 weeks from receipt of notification.

38.13  A staff member not entitled to any paid parental leave may take up to 52 weeks absence including accrued annual and long service leave and/or unpaid leave.

38.14 If a staff member who becomes ill during a period of unpaid parental leave, and that illness is substantiated by a medical certificate, the staff member may take that period as the personal leave provided in clause 37 (Personal leave).

38.15  The University will make contributions to a staff member's superannuation fund during paid parental leave where permitted by the superannuation scheme to which the staff member belongs.

Australian Paid Parental Leave Scheme

38.16  All entitlements under the Federal Governments Paid Parental Leave Scheme, for children born or adopted after 1 January 2011, will be paid in addition to entitlements offered under this provision.