Managing Family Responsibilities

The Western Sydney University recognises the need for employees to balance work and family/carer's responsibilities. The University has generous leave provisions available to support parents and adoptive/foster parents and partners.

Parental Leave Entitlements

What Parental leave is available?

If you are a staff member (including casual staff) and you become pregnant, you may be entitled to up to 52 weeks maternity leave. The Gender Equality Procedures and Guidelines (Opens in a new window) (Section 33) provide details of parental leave options available for eligible staff.

What flexibility is available on return to work after Parental leave?

If you are entitled to paid parental leave, and you return to work full-time or on the same part-time arrangement as you were working prior to taking leave within 12 months of commencing the parental leave, you will be entitled to a phased return to work.

Refer to the relevant Enterprise Agreement (opens in a new window) for full details.

How to apply for Parental Leave?

Applications for Parental Leave are completed via hard copy leave form, which can be downloaded via the Forms and Templates page. You will need to submit a medical certificate in support of your application.

Your HR Advisor (opens in a new window) can assist in determining your eligibility, proposed leave dates and return to work processes.

Centralised Parental Leave Replacement Fund

When you submit an application for parental leave, the Office of People will confirm the leave arrangements in writing with you and send a copy to your supervisor. The Office of People then ensure that your parental leave payments are made from the Central Parental Leave Replacement Fund, leaving the funding of your position in the Unit's cost centre enabling them to employ a replacement for the period of your paid parental leave.

Supervisors Please Note: oncost charges for employees on maternity leave will still be debited to your cost centre. If you replace a staff member on maternity leave, your budget will include the oncosts of the staff member on maternity leave and the charges for the replacement staff member.

Federal Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme (PPLS)

The Federal Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme (PPLS) was implemented on 1 January, 2011. Employees are able to lodge PPLS claims with the Family Assistance Office (FAO).

Further information regarding the PPL scheme and applications must be made directly to the Family Assistance Office (opens in new window). Western Sydney University is unable to provide specific advice of a financial or determinative nature in relation to the PPL scheme.

The Federal Government's Dad and Partner pay

If you have a baby or adopt a child you or your partner could be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay. Dad and Partner Pay is a new payment for dads or partners caring for a new child (including adopting parents and same-sex couples), available under the Paid Parental Leave scheme. If you are an eligible working dad or partner, you can get up to two weeks of government-funded pay at the rate of the National Minimum when you're on unpaid leave from work or are not working.

To find out more about Dad and Partner Pay, contact the Department of Human Services (opens in a new window).

Primary Carers Leave

What is Primary Carers Leave?

Primary Carers Leave is an initiative made possible following changes to the University's Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan which offers Primary Carers the opportunity to apply for six weeks of paid Primary Carers Leave in addition to the two weeks of Partner Leave that are currently provided for in the University's Enterprise Agreement (opens in a new window).

Who can apply for Primary Carers Leave?

Employees on a continuing appointment with twelve or more months of service are eligible to apply for Primary Carers Leave.

How do I apply for Primary Carers Leave?

Applications must be made using the Leave Application form, detailing the duration of the absence. Submit the form to your Supervisor for approval.

Return to work after Parental Leave


If you are entitled to paid parental leave, and you return to work full-time or on the same part-time arrangement as you were working prior to taking leave within 12 months of commencing the maternity leave, you will be entitled to a phased return to work. Refer to the relevant University Enterprise Agreement (opens in a new window) for full details.


If you wish to return to your previous position you must provide confirmation of your intention at least four weeks before your intended return date.

If you require breastfeeding facilities on your return to work make sure you discuss this with your supervisor to allow time for suitable arrangements to be made.

Maintaining communication and contact during leave

Discuss with your supervisor what level of contact you wish maintain while you are on parental leave. At the minimum make sure that your email address is kept on the email network, so that you receive relevant work based information such as details of any structural or operational changes which may affect you.

Childcare Centres on Campus

Western Sydney University Early Learning Ltd provides high quality childcare and early learning experiences for our children in a stimulating, inclusive and nurturing environment, working in partnership with families, Western Sydney University and our diverse community.

Our Long Day Care Centres are located within the Western Sydney University grounds and conveniently located on six campuses.

Flexible Work Options

Through its flexible work options, Western Sydney University provide staff who have family commitments with an option to structure their annual work cycle to enable them to manage better their commitments

Breastfeeding Support

The University supports staff and students who wish to breastfeed their baby while they participate in work or study on campus. Women are welcome to breastfeed their babies wherever they feel comfortable on campus. There are also 17 dedicated breastfeeding rooms available across 9 campuses for those who need a private space for breastfeeding. These rooms are equipped with a privacy screen, comfortable chair and access to refrigeration, power points for expressing breast milk and lockers for storage of personal equipment. Please review the Breastfeeding/Expressing Room Guidelines (PDF, 261.65 KB) (opens in a new window).

For more information see the Breastfeeding on University Premises Policy (opens in a new window) and the Children on University Premises Policy (opens in a new window).

Staff may like to review the Checklists for Managers (PDF, 500.89 KB) (opens in a new window) and Lactation Break Agreement Form (PDF, 144.31 KB) (opens in a new window).