Carers and Work

The university recognises that some staff have caring responsibilities. The university also appreciates that carers’ needs are different from the needs of employees with childcare responsibilities, and that circumstances and demands of caring may also be varied for individual employees.

Carers and Work


The University provides the following support to these staff to enable them to combine work with care:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements

    The University of Adelaide aims to ensure that staff members are able to balance their work and other (including family) commitments by supporting  flexible work arrangements.

    To learn how some of our staff have benefited from flexible work arrangements, read their testimonials. The flexible arrangements we offer are listed below.


    What works for me? Looking beyond 9-5

    Nine to five doesn’t suit everyone.

    Negotiate with your Leader to form an agreement that’s right for you!


    If you are a professional staff member working full-time, you have an option to compress your working hours into a 9 day fortnight so you work longer days to gain one day off work each fortnight. Take a day a fortnight to connect with extended family or spend time developing a new skill or interest.

    Approach your line manager to discuss options that might work for you. Compressed weeks might be the solution.

    Want to reduce your hours to support your family?

    If you want more time to study or follow a passion, reducing your employment fraction  may be the answer. For parents contemplating extra caregiving at home, request a reduction to suit your family needs.


    One option when returning to work after parental leave could be to apply to reduce your employment fraction from full-time to part-time, for a specified period, to care for your children.

    If the request is approved, you will receive your salary, leave and other entitlements on a pro-rata basis reflecting your employment fraction.

    If your circumstances change and you would like to increase the fraction you are working and/or return to work full-time, you will need to provide notice to change or end the arrangement. You may negotiate to gradually increase your fraction before returning to a full-time workload. Ensure that you approach your line manager with plenty of time to discuss a change in hours, so that they have three months’ notice that you want to end one arrangement and put another one in its place.

    And remember, you accrue annual leave while on paid parental leave so expect to discuss your annual leave balance with your line manager as part of your plan to work part-time. You can use your leave to be paid full-time until you bring your balance down.

    Emergencies happen, we can help

    You can access three special paid leave  days each calendar year for absences caused by emergencies.

    For those experiencing family violence , five days are available to help ensure your family’s safety.

    If a loved one develops an illness or injury or there has been a death in the family, the University provides three days compassionate leave  to support you through this time.


    Why not consider working from home?

    Sometimes the most effective way to engage with your work or to balance competing priorities is to work from home. The University provides for this option in our working from home procedure.


    If you are doing work that could reasonably be done away from the office and you need some flexibility, speak to your supervisor about working from home.

    Are you working towards a deadline and want to clear your schedule to get to the finish line? Will a day working on your own at home give you the clear run you need to finish?

    We all know the frustration of being told that the plumber will call sometime this morning/afternoon, rather than taking a leave day just to let the plumber in, speak to your supervisor about working from home that day.

    If your working day is extended by long travel times, consider asking your supervisor to regularly work from home one day a week, so that you are free at the end of the day to give your children a shorter day in child care or out of school hours care.

    Apply for flexible working arrangements

    Please discuss your preferred flexible working options with your Supervisor who will consider what can reasonably be accommodated by your work area. Further detail on how to apply please refer to the Voluntary Flexible Work arrangements page.

  • Family Friendly Leave

    The University has the following family-friendly leave options available.

    Carer's leave As part of their personal leave entitlement, staff other than casuals, are entitled to carer’s leave to provide care or support to a member of their family or household who is ill, injured or involved in an unexpected emergency.
    Family Violence leave

    The University recognises that some of its staff members may experience situations of violence and abuse in their domestic life which may impact on their attendance or performance at work.

    Staff experiencing this may apply for special paid leave of up to three days per calendar year for absences caused by emergency circumstances (as per clause 4.8 of the Enterprise Agreement).

    Staff may also apply for additional paid leave of up to two days per calendar year for the purposes of attending medical appointments, legal proceedings, seeking safe housing, or other activities related to dealing with family violence.

    For additional leave entitlements please refer to section 4 of the Enterprise Agreement.

  • Staff Wellbeing

    The University's Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) Team provides support to the University community on all safety, injury management and wellbeing activities.

    Please see the HSW section of this website for a complete list of services available.


    Bupa corporate health plan

    The University has partnered with BUPA health insurance to offer staff at the University of Adelaide a special "no excess" offer when joining the University's Corporate Health Plan.

    This cover includes a range of benefits including access to the "Living Well" program which offers practical support and subsidised health programs, loyalty maximums, and the University will pay the $250 annual hospital excess if applicable.

    Employee assistance program

    The University supports staff and their families by providing access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

    The EAP provides free short-term counselling to employees and their immediate family, and is confidential and anonymous.

    Up to three counselling sessions per year are provided to support and assist with any work or non-work related issue.

    Counselling is provided by an experienced and impartial team of counsellors who are employed by an external agency, Corporate Health Group (CHG).


    Adelaide Unicare medical services

    The University-associated Adelaide Unicare clinics provide primary healthcare for staff and students through a number of general practices, including a clinic on the North Terrace Campus.

    Two of the clinics are located in the Adelaide Central Business District, and three are located in the northern suburbs.


    Wellbeing events, activities and resources

    Human Resources' Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) team facilitate initiatives throughout the year to promote health and wellbeing among the University community.



  • Counselling Support – Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

    The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential short-term, solutions focused counselling, coaching and mentoring service, designed to help you and or your immediate family explore and implement strategies to address issues which may be having an impact on your wellbeing.


                                                                                    Employee assistance program



  • Research Equity Initiatives

    Barbara Kidman Fellowship Scheme

    The University of Adelaide Barbara Kidman Women's Fellowship Scheme is designed to support female academics to enhance and promote their career.

    The Scheme offers opportunities to enhance, maintain, or re-invigorate research momentum, and assist the Fellowship recipients in applying for, and assuming, enhanced roles in the near future. Preference will be given to those staff whose research momentum has been affected by caring responsibilities, resulting in career-disruption or reduced working hours.

    For more information please refer to the Barbara Kidman Fellowship Scheme webpage

  • External Support, Resources and Policies

    Support and Resources

    Carer Gateway is the national access point for carer services. Carer Gateway provides a range of services and supports delivered both in person and online Care and Support SA Government

    Carers Australia and member organisations in each state and territory are the voice for carers across Australia

    My Aged Care assists older Australians, their families and cares to get the help and support they need. My Aged Care has
    information to support carers.

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides Australians who have permanent and significant disability with funding for supports and services. The NDIS has information to support carers.


    Policies / Acts

    Equal Opportunity Act 1984
    Carer Recognition Act (Cth)
    Carer Recognition Act 2005 (SA)
    Fairwork Act 2009 (Cth)