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Staff and Students with Carers' Responsibilities Vice-Chancellor's Directive


This directive sets out the support and options available to staff and students with carers' responsibilities.

The directive is also available as a PDF document.

  • Directive approved 11/03/2011
  • Directive takes effect 11/03/2011
  • Directive is due for review (up to 5 years) 03/2016
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Implementation Officers
  • Director, Equity and Diversity Unit
  • Director, Human Resources Unit
Relevant to All staff and all students
Related documents
File number UR07/630
Superseded documents Work, Study and Carers' Responsibilities Vice-Chancellor's Directive
Review notes  


1. Purpose

In Australia today it is increasingly acknowledged that carers' responsibilities directly impact on employment and educational opportunities. Within the context of higher education, it is clear that such responsibilities have a significant impact on the educational opportunities of students and the employment opportunities of staff.

2. Scope

This directive applies to staff and students with carers' responsibilities.

3. Definitions

means husband, wife, de facto opposite sex partner or de facto same sex partner.
Care relationship
is defined by the University and Federal and/or State legislation in an inclusive way, and includes same sex, de facto partners and former partners, as well as parental and other familial relationships. Under Federal and/or State legislation a carer relationship may exist with:
  1. Your child
  2. The child of your current or former partner
  3. Any adult of whom you are the legal guardian
  4. Any immediate family member:
    • your partner
    • your former partner
    • your grandchild
    • the grandchild of your current or former partner
    • your parent
    • the parent of your current or former partner
    • your grandparent
    • the grandparent of your current or former partner
    • your brother
    • the brother of your current or former partner
    • your sister
    • the sister of your current or former partner

4. Directive principles

The University of Technology, Sydney, is committed to providing an accessible, supportive and flexible environment for all staff and students, including those with carers' responsibilities. UTS recognises that:

4.1 The responsibilities of a carer impacts on all aspects of their life and are not confined to the 'private' sphere. The ways in which such responsibilities impact on work and education mean that they are the concern of the University as a whole.

4.2 Carers' responsibilities affect both women and men.

4.3 Care relationships are diverse. The University also recognises the wide kinship and family networks of many cultures, and attempts to give sensitive consideration to cultural difference in the implementation of its family-friendly policies.

4.4 Students and staff should have access to the same educational and employment conditions regardless of their carers' responsibilities.

4.5 Leave and benefits should be reasonably provided to accommodate students and staff with respect to carers' responsibilities.

5. Directive statements

5.1 Provisions for staff who have carers' responsibilities

UTS recognises that staff with carers' responsibilities may require flexibility in their work arrangements, and that care relationships are not static. The degree of care needed may vary according to circumstances.

For example, you may be the carer for a frail parent who spends some time in respite care or with another family member. This may mean that you are able to spend more time at work during periods where you are not caring for your parent. Yet you also need great flexibility at times when you are providing care.

Carers' responsibilities may be short term.

For example, you may have a child who falls ill and requires greater attention than usual. This could mean that you have to take some time off work, work shorter hours temporarily or work from home.

The HRU website (work life balance pages) provides links to information about a range of strategies in place at UTS to support the needs of staff with carers' responsibilities. Some conditions outlined in these strategies are subject to the authorisation of the relevant manager or supervisor in your work area.

5.2 Provisions for students who have carers' responsibilities

University students come from all age groups, backgrounds and stages in life. Some students have carers' responsibilities which have the potential to impact on their ability to fully participate in their studies. Such factors may be the degree of care required in their carers' relationships, the requirements of the course they are studying including the number of hours or timing of classes and study groups, requirements to complete field trips and practicums, the need to access University labs, etc.

If you are the carer for:

  • a dependent child, or
  • partner, parent or other family member who has a disability or ongoing illness or otherwise requires your care or support
  • AND this is likely to detrimentally affect your ability to deal with study in the same way as other students,

you can consult an Academic Liaison Officer (ALO) in your faculty to make arrangements to help cope with your studies. You should do this preferably at the start of semester.

For example, your partner may fall seriously ill and require your personal care. Your ALO may be able to assist in making alternative arrangements for assignments or exams.

The University also recognises that, in unforeseen circumstances, your carers' responsibilities may warrant a request for special consideration in the assessment of a subject or assessment task on the grounds of misadventure.

5.3 Provisions for children on campus

The provisions for children on campus are part of the University's commitment to flexible arrangements to support women and men with carers' responsibilities.

The University of Technology, Sydney aims to:

  • Support and provide affordable child care facilities for all students and staff to meet a range of needs, such as long day care and temporary care for babies and pre-school aged children.
  • Provide facilities which are accessible to those who are accompanied by children, such as stroller entrances in buildings and ramps throughout the campus, parents' rooms, and baby change facilities in selected male and female toilets. For change room locations, phone the Concierge Desk on 9514 9953 / 9954 or the UTS Switchboard on 9514 2000.

The University recognises the occasional need for staff and students to bring children onto the university campus, subject to any regulations which may apply in those areas:

For example, you may have a young baby, childcare arrangements or plans may have fallen through, or it may be a pupil-free day in schools.

Students must seek permission from the relevant lecturer to bring children to class. You must consider the size of the classroom, and whether you can ensure that the child does not unduly disrupt the class. Permission to bring children to class is at the discretion of the lecturer, though any reasonable request should be granted.

Staff must seek approval from the relevant supervisor to bring children to work, but such requests should be treated sympathetically.

You should not expect or request staff employed by the University to take care of children.

Children will not be permitted to enter some areas of the university, such as workshops and laboratories, which are intrinsically hazardous.

5.4 UTS contact list

Your supervisor (staff)

Your Faculty Academic Liaison Officer (students)

Human Resources Unit — Staff Services: ext 1060, email

Equity and Diversity Unit: ext 1084, email

6. Roles and responsibilities

Managers and supervisors have discretion to approve the presence of children on campus in accordance with health and safety policy, directives, procedures and guidelines.

7. Acknowledgements

None applicable

8. Version control and change history

Date Version Approved by Amendment
11/03/2011 1 Vice-Chancellor New