Flexible Working & Leave

We make it as easy as possible for staff to have a rich and balanced life at work and home.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the power of the UNSW community to rapidly tackle complex and immensely challenging feats. Together, by collaborating, we moved teaching online; we moved most of our community to remote working, and we supported each other through one of the most extraordinary periods in our organisation and our country’s history.

Having demonstrated our ability to work flexibly and productively, we want to continue to offer a ‘flex-first’ approach for all staff who wish to work in this way. We will introduce – in a planned and phased way – greater flexibility across location, hours, full-time equivalents, schedules and job sharing. We believe this will bring a range of benefits for our community. We encourage you to speak to us about what this might look like for you.

Find out more about flexible working at UNSW.

Leave Benefits 

UNSW employees receive a range of leave entitlements that help staff to achieve a healthy work-life balance. A snapshot of these are provided below, with links to explore this further.

University Holidays 

The University generally closes operations over the Christmas/New Year holiday for a specified period reviewed each year. The 3 working days between Christmas and New Year are granted to staff at the discretion of UNSW as ‘University Holidays’ with pay.

Professional staff are required to take 3 days of the shutdown period as annual leave and special rules apply to Academic staff under the Enterprise Agreements, but the University holiday effectively gives staff 20 days annual leave plus 3 additional days per annum (a total of 23 days).

Family & Parental Leave

UNSW's commitment to supporting staff with family and parenting responsibilities shines through our generous leave scheme.

There are a number of entitlements for staff to access. including: 

  • Primary carer leave of 26 weeks full pay (less than five years service), and 36 weeks full pay (over 5 years service)  
  • Support to return back on transitional or part-time arrangements  
  • 2 weeks partner/grandparent leave 
  • Varying levels of adoption & foster parent leave

Family Facilities

Level two of UNSW Canberra's Academy Library offers a parent-friendly space for all staff and postgraduate students with children. Baby change facilities are also available within the second-floor disabled toilet. UNSW Canberra is an accredited Breastfeeding Friendly workplace, and has an onsite breast pump storage area.

Sick Leave  

Your health and wellbeing are paramount. We provide increasing sick leave entitlements the longer you work at UNSW.

Carer's Leave 

This benefit allows you to use your sick leave for the purposes of caring for an immediate family member, and your limits increase over time with the ability to draw down on unused leave from previous years.

Purchase Additional Leave

UNSW staff can buy themselves additional annual leave (up to 10 weeks per annum) which can be slowly paid off over the course of the year through an equivalent reduction in your fortnightly salary.   

Study and Examination Leave

Professional staff can request study leave if it has direct relevance to their position. For each hour of class contact, staff can take half an hour of study leave for a maximum of 4 hours per week, and time off may be granted for exams.

Further Support

We also have varying levels of support in place to enable our staff to take care of things in their personal life whilst working at UNSW. Further options include Gender Transition Leave, Domestic Violence Leave, Special Leave (for unexpected circumstances such as bushfires and pandemics) and Cultural and Religious Leave.