Monday, 16 May 2016

Working while on parental leave? 3 things to consider.

Sometimes employees are approached to work for a few days while on parental leave. What do you need to consider?

1. Do you want to work those days?
While you are on parental leave you can not be coerced to return to work. This could be grounds for a general protections (adverse action) claim.

2. Are receiving the Government's Paid Parental Leave and are still within the payment period? 

  • You will be breaking your parental leave and need to notify Centrelink (as does your employer) UNLESS the days are considered "Keeping in touch days" .
  • Keeping in Touch Days are paid days, of which you can have up to 10 while you are on parental leave. They should help you refresh your skills transition back to the workplace, become familiar with new or updated processes, or be involved in planning discussions or meetings that may affect your role. Doing your "usual" duties is not considered a Keeping in Touch day.
3. Will you be breaking your parental leave?
If the days are NOT considered as Keeping in Touch days, then by breaking your parental leave you are potentially removing some of your protections. Although your employer may agree to have you back at work for a period, and then continue your unpaid leave, in the strictest sense it would not longer be considered Parental Leave, and therefore the employer may not be required to adhere to parental leave requirements such as your right to return to your old job and extending your parental leave. (For more information on parental leave, see this earlier post).

More information can be found here from Fair Work.

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