For everyone ‘Keeping in touch’ days

Returning to work after becoming a parent can be a challenging experience for parents. The best way to keep you up to date, and to pave the way for a smooth transition back to work, is to access your ‘keeping in touch days’ entitlement.

Keeping in touch days exist to keep parents updated with the workplace and their colleagues, refresh their skills, and take the pressure off the transition back to work.

The Fair Work Act provides for up to 10 keeping in touch days for each 12-month period of unpaid parental leave, by agreement with the employer. These days don’t affect the length of the unpaid parental leave period. 

If you’re not sure how this leave works, or you’re facing some resistance when applying, talk to our Member Support Centre for advice.

Women’s health is union business

It seems that every other week there’s an enquiry into women’s health, which of course generally means our reproductive health. This can only be a good thing, but we need to make sure we consider the needs and views of all women, including those with intersectional attributes.

Over the next 12 months, activists will need to agree on what industrial entitlements are needed to ensure that women don’t face discrimination at work when experiencing the impacts of menstruation, menopause, and associated issues such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Most of us agree that social and cultural taboos around menstruation are at the core of this discrimination, and we note that the state government gender equality strategy, ‘Our Equal State’, attempts to promote positive culture around menstrual health and build supportive environments by making pads and tampons free at school for students – which is a good start. 

But what happens when we can’t get to a toilet because we can’t leave students unattended? Or we’re on yard duty and feel a gush? How about when we’re burning up, sweating and experiencing brain fog in a meeting? These are the realities of life for those who menstruate.  

It won’t be easy coming up with industrial solutions to make our lives easier at work, but AEU women have never walked away when the going gets tough. This issue is no different. 

Want to have your say about reproductive issues and how they affect you at work? Get in touch with me for more information: [email protected].

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