The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has issued a Circular informing departments and agencies of their responsibilities to employees returning to duty following parental or maternity leave.
on return-to-job rule
Circular 2013/1 Changes to the Fair Work (FW) Act 2009 in relation to Parental leave says the employees are entitled to resume their pre-leave position or, if it no longer exists, an equivalent position for which they were qualified.
“The position is considered to exist even if someone else is performing the duties of the employee’s pre-parental leave position,” the Circular says.
“The FW Act further details the provisions for replacement employees who are engaged to perform the duties of the employee who is going to take, or is taking, unpaid parental leave.”
It says prior to the engagement of replacement employees, the employer must notify the prospective employee that their engagement is temporary; the rights of the person who is on unpaid parental leave, including their right to return to work; and the rights of the employer to cancel the parental leave in some circumstances.
“As part of the recent changes to the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010, a one-off payment called Dad and Partner Pay (DAPP) was implemented on 1 January 2013,” the Circular says.
“This entitles eligible working fathers and partners, including parents who are adopting a child and same-sex couples, to receive up to two weeks government-funded DAPP at the rate of the National Minimum Wage for the purposes of caring for a child born or adopted from 1 January 2013.
“Claims for and payments to eligible fathers and partners of DAPP are made through the Department of Human Services.”
The Circular says agencies should note that DAPP is only available where an employee is on unpaid leave or not working during the DAPP period.
The full APSC Circular can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 346, 29 January 2013