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Pregnancy in Work and Study Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) The purpose of this policy is to ensure:

  1. Staff and students are assisted, wherever possible, to successfully combine their family, work and study responsibilities in ways which are proactive and supportive and do not hinder the University's operational requirements, staff development, career or educational progression;
  2. Compliance with relevant anti-discrimination legislation and University policy in relation to pregnancy, potential pregnancy, marital, parental and carer status;
  3. Compliance with relevant occupational health and safety legislation to protect pregnant and potentially pregnant staff and students from exposure to risk while on University campus and associated sites or on University business; and
  4. All staff and students are informed of their rights, responsibilities and obligations in relation to pregnancy in work and study.

(2) This policy must be read in conjunction with the Health and Safety Policy, the Equity and Diversity Policy for Staff, Student Equity and Social Inclusion Policy for Students, Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Management Policy, the Bullying Prevention and Management Policy, and the Student Complaints Resolution Policy.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(3) This policy is important to:

  1. Staff
  2. Managers/Supervisors
  3. Human Resources
  4. Students
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Section 3 - Definitions

Potentially Pregnant Refers to a woman who may be pregnant and/or who is trying to become pregnant.
Staff All persons employed by the University.
Student A person who is enrolled in any VU program. This includes students on leave of absence from their studies; research students awaiting thesis examination results; and persons enrolled or registered in non-award programs.
Supervisor/Manager All University employees with a responsibility, at some level, for the management or supervision of staff.
University or VU Victoria University
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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(4) The University supports the right of women to choose to combine work, study and family responsibilities and understands the importance of pregnancy for both mother and child. The University supports those women who continue to work and study while pregnant or trying to become pregnant, and commits to providing a work and study environment free of discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or potential pregnancy where all staff and students have the opportunity to exercise and fulfil their potential.

(5) The University recognises that combining pregnancy or potential pregnancy with work and/or study may involve issues of health and safety. The University is committed to making appropriate workplace and study adjustments where practicable to accommodate any of the effects often experienced with pregnancy and minimise risk for pregnant and potentially pregnant staff and students.

(6) Supervisors of work and study areas across the University with obvious health and safety risks, must ensure they manage those health and safety risks effectively, including following relevant policy and seeking advice. Members of the University must be aware of any potential risk to pregnant or potentially pregnant staff and students and actively address these where they arise. The University is committed to responsible management, in order to ensure that discriminatory practice is eliminated and pregnant, or potentially pregnant, staff and students are supported where possible.

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Section 5 - Procedures

(7) See Pregnancy in Work and Study Procedure.

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(8) Parental Leave and Returning to Work Toolkit (located under ‘Flexible work and parental leave’).