The key to a smooth transition from taking parental leave to returning to work is effective and ongoing communication between the staff member and their supervisor. The first step is to start planning early to make sure that all the necessary arrangements can be made.
Staff member checklist
Once your adoption or pregnancy is confirmed, obtain and read a copy of the Parental Leave Policy.Consider when you would like to or need to start your leave and ensure that you apply for it within the required time frame. Providing as much notice as possible will assist your transition to parental leave and the transition for the University in managing your leave period to go smoothly.
Speak with Human Resources. They can assist you with completing the application for parental leave, the Return to Work Agreement (if applicable) and with the calculation of leave entitlements.
Meet with your supervisor to discuss: - your plans for the dates of parental leave; - how your work will be managed while you are away; - your career development/work plan, including whether you would like to be considered for any career development activities or work unit planning days; - your preferred methods for staying in touch while on leave e.g. by phone, mail, email and the frequency of contact; and - your return to work options.
Provide evidence to your supervisor, e.g. for a birth you should provide a medical certificate or for adoption you should provide written confirmation of adoption.
From the time you discuss parental leave with your supervisor, you should commence planning your handover of your workplan.
Start investigating child care options. There is a Resources Factsheet included in the Information Kit which lists some websites that may assist you.
Create a contingency plan should you need to leave work earlier than planned.
Throughout pregnancy, but especially in the last six weeks, consider your fitness for work and in consultation with your supervisor and doctor organise for adjustments to be made as necessary. For instance, work-related lifting like moving stationary boxes may be done by other colleagues, and you can adjust your work station to ensure it is ergonomically correct (please see Resources Factsheet).
Tidy up your workspace two weeks before leaving and prepare for a handover. Arrange for the handover of University equipment such as laptop and mobile phone.
You retain access to your work emails whilst on parental leave.