Leave and other provisions

Leave and other provisions

Macquarie University offers generous leave entitlements for employees planning to take time out to become parents, or to care for children, an elderly parent, or a family member with disability, illness or a chronic medical condition.

For new and expecting parents

Macquarie has a range of paid and unpaid leave options to support your carer responsibilities as a parent.

Leave options

Parental leave

Eligible staff have access to paid and unpaid parental leave for the birth (includes surrogacy), adoption or fostering of a child where they are responsible for the child's care.

For entitlements see:
FAQ's:
How to apply:
  • Once you’ve discussed your plans with your manager, complete the parental leave application form and submit it to your manager for approval before sending to your payroll advisor by email.

The HR Client Services Team can help answer any questions about your parental leave

Personal leave

Paid personal leave is available where a staff member is unable to attend work because of family/carer responsibilities.

For more information on carer's leave, refer to the Personal Leave Policy and Procedure.

Purchased annual leave

Eligible staff can purchase either an additional five days (35 hours) or 10 days (70 hours) annual leave in a 12-month period for professional staff and up to additional 4 weeks of purchased annual leave for academic staff.

For more information on purchased leave, refer to the Annual Leave Policy and Procedure and Enterprise Agreements.

Other provisions

Safe working conditions

If there are risks associated with your pregnancy or hazards that mean your normal duties are no longer advisable, it is important that you speak to your manager or HR about this and discuss adjustments to your working environment and/or conditions.

Government Paid Parental Leave scheme

Employees may also be eligible for the Australian Federal Government’s Parental Leave Scheme and Dad and Partner Pay which provides financial assistance to the parents, including fathers, of newborn children, in addition to the Parental Leave offered by Macquarie University.

For further information and application, contact the Department of Human Services. Macquarie University is unable to provide specific advice on these schemes.

Stay in Touch Program

It is your choice whether or not to stay in contact with Macquarie while you are on parental leave. There is no expectation from the university that you should maintain any contact during this time, but we want to ensure you have the opportunity to stay connected and have a smooth transition back to work.

Stay Connected

If you decide that you would like to Stay in Touch, there are a few options available to help you do so. The choice about how and when you’re contacted is yours, however, there are certain things the University needs to contact you about, like restructures or relocations that might impact you on your return to work. Things to consider include:

  • What would you like to be kept informed about (i.e major project updates, social events, etc)
  • Your preferred way of keeping in touch and level of contact (i.e email/phone, weekly/monthly, etc.)
  • Technology and/or other support needed to maintain the contact level agreed with your manager (i.e. keep your laptop, accounts, etc)

It’s beneficial to have a conversation about this with your manager prior to your leave; however, you can still speak with them after your leave commences. For more information and support to help you and your manager prepare for this period, access the conversation guides available on the Carers HUB.

Australian Government's Keeping in Touch Days Scheme

Under the Australian Government Keeping in Touch Days Scheme, you are entitled to have up to 10 Keep in Touch days while on parental leave to undertake work related activity, attend events, restructure meetings, seminars, workshops, meetings with colleagues and management, etc. You and your manager must both agree on how you can take part in a Keeping in Touch Day.

If you access a Keeping in Touch day while on paid parental leave, your period of paid leave may need to be extended in addition to your paid leave.

If you are on unpaid leave, the Keep in Touch days must be taken within the period of leave agreed and will be paid to you.

Participating in a Keeping in Touch activity for one hour or more on a day will count as one day towards the 10 day limit.

Keeping in Touch days can be taken at any time after the first two weeks following the birth or adoption of your child. However, your manager cannot ask you to participate in a Keeping in Touch day within six weeks of the birth or adoption of your child. If you want to participate in the program earlier to this date, you will need to contact your manager to make a request.

Procedure:
  • Have a conversation with your manager. Although not needed, it is considered best practice and in the interest of both you and your manager to have a record of the agreed arrangements in place before Keeping in Touch activity occurs (i.e exchange of emails that include; day to be used as Keeping in Touch Day, what paid work activity will be undertaken, timing and duration of the paid work, timing of payment or agreed leave credit)
  • Contact your HR representative and let them know about the agreement and that you are planning to use the Keep in Touch Days.
  • Once approval is received, your HR representative will let the Payroll team know about this agreement for the Keep in Touch Day to be paid in the next available pay cycle.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Being a parent and/or carer can be challenging at times. Macquarie provides an EAP program through Benestar, a confidential counseling, coaching and wellbeing service free for all Macquarie university and entity staff and their immediate family members. Free services for staff members include but are not limited to:

  • 6 sessions of face-to-face counseling or counseling over the phone or through their website, per person/family
  • MyCoach Parenting program. Access to confidential email coaching and support for all aspects of your life
  • A vast library of online health and wellbeing resources

Consultations are strictly confidential. Benestar will not share information about you with Macquarie University unless you authorise for them to do so. For more information visit Benestar website.

Professional Development Programs

Professional development can be accessed through Macquarie's professional development program while on parental leave. For further information visit the Workshops and online resources page.

Attendance of professional development while on parental leave needs to be discussed with your manager.

Flexible work

When you return from parental leave, you may consider changing your work arrangement to help you balance your work with parenting responsibilities. There are a range of flexible work options at Macquarie, including changing hours from full-time to part-time, working from home to assist parents with drop off or picking up kids from day care or school, or changing start and finish times. You can read about flexible work options and speak with your manager/supervisor about your request to find a solution that works best for you and for your work area.

Under Macquarie University's Flexible Work Policy, all continuing and fixed-term employees can request flexible work. Requests for flexible work are reviewed on a case by case basis to reach a solution, where possible, that is practicable both for the individual and business area.

For information on flexible work options and the process for applying refer to the Flexible Work Policy and Procedure.

Breastfeeding and expressing breaks

Nursing mothers have access to additional paid breaks and parents rooms for expressing and storing breast milk and to breastfeed if the child is in nearby care. For more information on breastfeeding at work, click here.

For carers of others

We know how stressful it is when your loved ones aren’t well and need your care. Whether you have to care for a child, an elderly parent or another family member with a disability, illness or chronic medical condition, Macquarie University offers support to help you manage your work and caring commitments.

Leave options

Personal leave

Paid personal leave is available where a staff member is unable to attend work because of family/carer responsibilities. For more information on personal leave for carers, refer to the Personal Leave Policy and Procedure.

Annual leave

Four weeks of paid leave a year (part-time on a proportionate basis), which can also be used for caring for others if you’ve run out of Paid Personal Leave. For more information on annual leave, refer to the Annual Leave Policy and Procedure.

Purchased annual leave

Eligible staff can also purchase either an additional five days (35 hours) or 10 days (70 hours) annual leave in a 12-month period for professional staff and up to 4 weeks of purchased annual leave for academic staff. For more information on purchased leave, refer to the Annual Leave Policy and Procedure and Enterprise Agreements.

Other provisions

Flexible work

You may find that you need to change the way you work, to meet your caring requirements. Macquarie University offers a range of flexible working options that you can request on a short, medium or longer term basis, depending on your specific needs.

For information on flexible work options and the process for applying refer to the Flexible Work Policy and Procedure.

If you are considering flexible work, speak to your manager/supervisor about your options to work out a solution that works best for you and the work area.

Need more help?

Contact your HR representative.

Back to the top of this page