Accessing parental leave

Parental leave is paid or unpaid leave associated with the birth or adoption of a child. Except for special leave taken concurrently, parental leave is restricted to the parent who gives birth and/or will be the primary carer. The maximum period of parental leave is two years from the date of birth or adoption.

Entitlement

Parental leave entitlements are based on your average service fraction for the twelve months prior to the expected date of birth of the child.

Continuing and fixed-term employees

If you're a continuing or fixed-term employee with more than 40 weeks’ continuous service before the expected date of birth, you're eligible for paid parental leave.

You can access up to 26 weeks’ paid leave as follows:

  • 6 weeks’ paid maternity leave (or 12 weeks at ½ pay) - available to an employee who gives birth to a child.
  • 20 weeks’ paid primary carer leave (or 40 weeks at ½ pay) - available to an employee who takes on the role of primary carer following the birth or adoption of a child.

If you're not eligible for paid parental leave as a birth mother, you can use your available special leave or leave without pay.

Fixed-term contract

If you're employed on a fixed-term contract, your parental leave entitlements will cease when your contract expires.

Casual employees

If you're a casual employee, you're not eligible for parental leave unless you have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months and have a reasonable expectation of ongoing employment.

Subsequent periods of parental leave

You may take parental leave as many times as you like. However, if you take parental leave within 12 months of completing a previous period of parental leave, your entitlement to paid primary carer leave will be reduced to eight weeks. All other parental leave entitlements (such as maternity leave) remain the same.

Starting parental leave

As the birth mother, you can take maternity leave from up to six weeks before the expected date of birth. Your maternity leave must begin no later than the actual date of birth.

You must take your primary carer leave within 26 weeks of the date of birth or 20 weeks of the date of adoption (if taking leave on full pay). Your leave will be reduced to account for the primary care responsibilities of the other parent (whether or not they are a University employee). For example: if a University staff member becomes the primary carer when their birth child reaches 10 weeks of age, then only 16 weeks’ paid primary carer leave is available.

Parental leave must be taken as one continuous period, with the exception of concurrent parental leave .

Primary carer

The primary carer is the person responsible for the day-to-day care of a newborn or newly adopted child. You become the primary carer for your child if:

  • you have given birth and you are taking leave to care for your baby full time
  • you are a sole parent
  • your partner is returning to work following a period as primary carer
  • the parent who was the primary carer becomes unable to care for the child due to illness, incapacity or death.

When both parents work at CSU

If both parents work at CSU, the University will pay once for each pregnancy or adoption. However, parental leave may be divided between the parents if each takes the role of primary carer at different times.

The parent who is not taking the role of primary carer may be able to access up to 10 days’ paid special leave as a form of concurrent parental leave.

Applying for parental leave

You must provide at least 8 weeks’ written notice when applying for paid or unpaid parental leave via the parental leave application form.

You can vary the agreed period of parental leave before the leave begins by giving at least four weeks’ notice in writing.

You may also use any annual leave or long service leave you have accrued, as long as the period of parental leave is unbroken.

Supporting documentation

If you're the birth mother and you plan to take maternity leave, you need to provide a medical certificate confirming the expected date of birth. If you also plan to take primary carer leave, you should confirm via email:

  • that you will have primary care of your child during the period of leave you've applied for
  • that you will not be undertaking paid work during the leave
  • that you will notify CSU if the primary care arrangements for your child change during your leave.

If you're not the birth mother, you need to provide a statutory declaration confirming:

  • the expected date of birth or date of placement
  • that you will have primary care of your child during the period of leave you've applied for
  • that you will not be undertaking paid work during the leave
  • that you will notify CSU if the primary care arrangements for your child change during your leave.

Within two weeks of the birth of your child, you must also advise Human Resources in writing, of your child’s actual date of birth.

Concurrent parental leave

If you're not the primary carer, you can access up to eight weeks’ concurrent parental leave. Depending on your eligibility, some of this may be paid under the provisions of special leave.

Find out more.

Leave accruals and salary progression

Periods of unpaid leave don't count as service for the purpose of calculating accruals. This means you won't accrue leave while on unpaid leave.

If your unpaid leave is longer than two months, this will also impact your incremental salary progression. In this case, your increment will be deferred from the common anniversary date (the date when increments are normally paid) by the amount of unpaid leave taken, for the relevant year only.

If you take parental leave at full or half pay, you'll receive entitlements on a pro-rata basis (if at half pay) and keep progressing through your salary range.

Superannuation

Your superannuation continues as normal during parental leave at full pay. Parental leave at half pay will reduce contributions to your fund, which may result in a benefit reduction. Please refer to the change of superannuation status fact sheet.

If you wish to discuss maintaining contributions during periods of leave without pay, please contact the Superannuation Officer (super@csu.edu.au).

Government Paid Parental Leave

Government Paid Parental Leave (GPPL) is a short-term government payment. After a notification from the Department of Human Services, we'll provide the GPPL payment as part of your usual pay cycle. The payment is taxable and is in addition to any other salary or leave payments made by CSU.

Refer to the Department of Human Services website for eligibility and how to claim.

Support

Read about how CSU supports:

More information

In the event of any discrepancy between this website and the Enterprise Agreement or Leave Manual, the terms of the Agreement or Policy will prevail.