Keeping in touch days
Keeping in touch days allow an employee who is still on unpaid parental leave to go back to work for a few days.
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This is a good way for employees who are caring for a baby or newly adopted child to stay up to date with their workplace, refresh their skills and assist their return to work.
Work on a keeping in touch day may include:
- participating in a planning day
- doing training or
- attending a conference.
There are some rules about the type of work that can be done on these days. Visit the Services Australia website for more information.
An employee on unpaid parental leave gets 10 keeping in touch days. This doesn't affect their unpaid parental leave entitlement.
If the employee extends their period of unpaid parental leave beyond 12 months, they can take an additional 10 days.
Keeping in touch days can be worked:
- as a part day
- 1 day at a time
- a few days at a time, or
- all at once.
A keeping in touch day can be worked at least 42 days after the birth of a child or adoption. It can only be earlier if the employee requests it. If a request is made, a keeping in touch day can't be worked earlier than 14 days after the birth or adoption. The employer and employee have to agree to the keeping in touch days.
An employee doesn't have to use keeping in touch days if they don't wish to.
An employee gets their normal wage and accumulates leave entitlements for each keeping in touch day or part day.
Example: Payment for a keeping in touch day to assist with a return to work
Georgia has taken 12 months unpaid leave to look after her newly adopted son. During this time, her workplace gets a new computer system and everyone needs training in how to use it.
To help Georgia's transition back into work after her leave, her manager Alex asks if she'd like to come in for a keeping in touch day. This means Georgia can do the training with everyone else. Georgia agrees and is paid her normal wage for coming to work.
To practice her new skills, she asks Alex if she can come in for a keeping in touch day once a month for 6 months. Alex agrees.
Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.79a