If I accept a contract while on unpaid parental leave, will my next parental leave be affected?

Once granted extended special leave without salary, you can be engaged by the department as a casual/daily relief teacher (supply) or temporary teacher (contract). If you are substantively full-time and undertake part-time contract work during a period of unpaid parental leave, a change of fraction, even if only temporary, will have an effect on the payment of future paid parental leave for subsequent children.

How much notice is required to extend unpaid parental leave?

A pregnant teacher entitled to maternity leave can apply to extend it for an unbroken period of up to 104 weeks. You must make a written application for an extension at least four weeks before the leave ends. You can not make more than one application for extension of unpaid parental leave within any 12-month period, unless the department agrees.

Can my Union membership be put on hold while I am on parental leave?

You may be eligible to have all or part of your Union dues waived for the period of maternity/parental leave or subsequent extended leave. For the first 12 months that Union dues are waived, you will continue to enjoy the benefits and services provided by the Union, including attendance at branch meetings, voting in elections etc. From the second and subsequent years, however, the payment of a small fee will be necessary to ensure continued access to Union services, including advice over the phone. Contact the membership section of the QTU for specific advice.

Can I change my leave without pay to paid parental leave?

If you fall pregnant during a period of unpaid special leave, extended special leave or leave for family responsibility purposes, you retain your entitlement to paid parental leave without having to resume duty. You may apply to cancel your special leave and then re-apply for the paid parental leave, usually to commence from six weeks prior to the due date of the baby.

I am currently a supply teacher. If I take on a full-time contract which ends at the end of term 2 and fall pregnant during this contract, am I eligible for any paid parental leave?

To be eligible for paid parental leave, you must be a permanent, temporary, full-time, part-time or long-term casual employee of the department AND have met the qualifying service period of at least 12 months’ continuous service at least once. This service is to be unbroken, or may be inclusive of paid and unpaid leave, which is credited towards service.  As a temporary employee, your continuity of service with an employer is not broken if you are re-employed within three months of the termination of the previous contract.

Can I return to work on a part-time basis at the end of my parental leave?

If you are interested in permanent part-time teaching, you should complete an application form and submit it to your principal/manager. Prior to beginning part-time work, you and your principal/manager should agree:

  • the hours you are to work, including which days
  • the nature of your duties.

These arrangements should then be written up as a formal record. The arrangements for part-time work can be varied by agreement with your principal/manager.

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 117 No 3, 20 April 2012, p29