PARENTAL LEAVE SUPPORT - Academic Staff


The School of Chemistry is committed to supporting staff with caring responsibilities and retaining staff who are planning a career transition such as parental leave. The development of a Parental Leave Process reinforces the School’s commitment to supporting and growing a talented and diverse workforce. The process will assist staff members and their supervisors in discussing and planning the transitions of roles that must occur.

The Head of School has appointed a Chemistry Parental Leave Champion to increase awareness and provide support from initial notification of intention to take parental leave through to return to work planning:

Chemistry Parental Leave Champion
Ms Jody Cutler, School Manager
(e)

The effectiveness of the Champion will be reviewed by the Chemistry Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee after the first 12 months and will include feedback from staff. The University’s Manager Checklist for Parental Leave will provide assistance with this role.

The multifaceted nature of academic roles requires consideration of the transition of administrative, teaching and service roles, in addition to a plan to support the maintenance of research programmes. The following process is suggested to supplement the University’s Staff Checklist for Parental Leave:

  1. Notify the Chemistry Parental Leave Champion of your upcoming leave at the earliest convenience to allow time for planning.
  2. Visit the University Parental Leave intranet page to evaluate options and entitlements.
  3. Ensure you are familiar with the University Leave Policy (see point 16 Parental leave).
  4. Review the Enterprise Agreement (see clauses 206-230). The leave entitlements apply if you are covered by the Enterprise Agreement, except for casual staff unless otherwise specified. If you are not engaged under the Enterprise Agreement or are a Fellowship Holder, please refer to your individual contract or award for your leave entitlements. If you are unsure of your engagement or entitlements, advice can be sought from the Chemistry HR Administration Officer ().
  5. Meet with your supervisor or line-manager (Head of School, School Manager and Associate Head Education where appropriate) to discuss the hand-over of administrative, teaching and service roles. Depending on the nature of the role, a staff member may be identified for secondment or fixed-term contract appointment into the role for the period of the leave. The School recognises that this process presents a potentially important development opportunity for other members of staff. Transition of the role will depend on a number of factors, including: the complexity of the administrative or teaching role; consideration of the Academic Staff Workloads Policy; and, the time available before you will commence leave in order to ensure sufficient time for adequate hand-overs. Please download and complete a copy of the Transition Plan template (16KB) as a starting point for discussion and planning (please note: this template is not all-inclusive or mandatory).
  6. Following discussion and agreement of the Transition Plan, book Parental Leave application via the appropriate form found on research.support@sydney.edu.au).
  7. Following completion of the Transition Plan and Parental Leave approval, work with the Head of School, Associate Head (Education) to: finalise arrangements and hand-overs with relevant colleagues; complete any relevant ‘delegations of authority; and, notify relevant staff of the delegation of duties.
  8. Support for maintenance of the research programme and supervision of students through the period of leave is essential. The first point of discussion will be with the Head of School to evaluate the current status of the research group. Important considerations include: numbers of students and the stage of their degrees; the amount of support through PhD graduates and Postdoctoral Research Associates (either at HEO or Academic levels); current status of the research group; funding through grants; and, the duration of the funding support. You should also consider eligibility for Equity Fellowships (Brown and Thompson Fellowships) which provide assistance for teaching support to the School, and the Faculty of Science Re-entry fellowships.
  9. Consider the preferred mode and volume of contact with the School during the period of leave (i.e. would you still like to receive invitations to School events, conferences, etc.). Consider also some “Keeping in Touch Days” where you could visit the School to attend an event (e.g. seminars, meetings, etc.).

Other important points of contact