Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 3, 13 April 2018, p24
Does carer’s leave come out of our sick leave hours or is it separate?
Carer’s leave is sick leave. A teacher required to care for members of their immediate family or household when they are ill, can access their own sick leave for such purpose. In accordance with the Industrial Relations Act 2016, the employee shall, if required, produce a medical certificate or statutory declaration stating that the person requiring care is ill, if absent for more than two consecutive days.
I’ve been told I have to provide a medical certificate because I was sick on a Friday. Our school also requests teachers provide a medical certificate if we are away sick before/after a public holiday or on a day before/after school holidays. Can you tell me whether this is true or not?
It is a long-held myth that a certificate is required either side of a public holiday or if you are ill on a Friday.
In accordance with the state public service sick leave directive, teachers are only required to provide a medical certificate for absences more than three days (for their own illness).
It may be reasonable to make a request for a medical certificate where a teacher has been placed on a managing unsatisfactory performance (MUP) process or if attendance is being monitored, if absent for three or fewer days.
It is not appropriate for schools to develop their own policy regarding sick leave and when medical certificates are required.
I’m on unpaid leave from the department this year and I am due to have a baby in August. Am I entitled to access paid maternity leave? If so, what date can the leave start?
If you become pregnant while on unpaid parental leave or extended special leave, you can access another period of paid parental leave without having to return to work. You would have to apply to cancel your unpaid leave and apply for paid parental/maternity leave.
Normally, when working, paid parental leave should commence six weeks prior to the estimated date of confinement (EDC). Teachers wishing to work during this period are required to provide a clearance from their doctor confirming fitness for duty. As you are on leave already, this provision is irrelevant and therefore you can request to commence paid parental leave from the EDC if you choose. This information has recently been confirmed by DoE central office.
Is there a set student/teacher ratio for school excursions and camps?
To ensure the health and safety of students and staff, schools are required to proactively manage all aspects of a variation to school routine. The school’s duty of care to students extends to school excursions and camps, which are integral to students’ educational programs. Activities conducted away from schools may increase risks, and therefore the standard of care required must reflect the increase in identified risks.
As there is no specific student to teacher ratio for excursions/camps in general, you should use the curriculum risk assessment processes for the specific activities that may be conducted.