ACU sets benchmark with paid parental leave for dads

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

15 February, 2010: Australian Catholic University (ACU) is on track to implement a new workplace agreement that will set the benchmark for parental leave provisions in Australia – by including dads as well.

Under the proposed Enterprise Agreement, fathers who nominate themselves as the primary carer will be entitled to 40 weeks leave at 60 per cent pay, provided they have been with the University for at least two years.

This is in addition to the Government’s paid parental leave scheme which was introduced on January 1 this year.

ACU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven, said the new agreement will put ACU at the forefront of not only the education sector, but across industries.

“We are determined to promote gender equality and continue to attract and retain the very best staff,” he said. “This new Agreement will allow parents of either gender to elect to be the primary carer, and provide them with the financial support they need.”

“The tension of combining a paid job with parenting has been well documented, and it is in keeping with the University’s Mission to do everything we can to make ACU a family-friendly organisation.

“The proposed ACU Enterprise Agreement is especially generous in that it is available in addition to the Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme which provides approximately $570-a-week.”

The two education unions -the NTEU and the CPSU - have accepted the offer as part of the proposed Australian Catholic University Staff Enterprise Agreement 2010 - 2013. If approved by staff the Agreement will operate seven days after it is approved by Fair Work Australia.

Female staff members who have been with the University for at least two years are eligible for 12 weeks maternity leave at full pay, and 40 weeks parental leave at 60 per cent pay - in addition to the government’s paid parental leave scheme.

In addition, staff members may apply to take unpaid child rearing leave until the child reaches school age.