Part-Time Teaching

Version Number

2.2

Implementation Date

26/02/2016

Scope

All state schools

Purpose

​The Department of Education and Training is committed to providing work environments and practices that better support the work–life balance of teachers, including access to part-time employment.

This procedure outlines the processes and conditions for part-time teaching in the department.

Overview

​Approval for part-time work is based on the inherent requirements of the position – this includes consideration of the genuine occupational requirements and operational requirements of the workplace.

Teachers can apply to work part-time under provisions of the Teachers’ Award – State 2012 or the Family Leave (Queensland Public Sector) Award – State 2012.

The Teachers' Award – State 2012 states that all teachers are able to apply for part-time employment. 

However, preference will be given to employees with family responsibilities subject to operational convenience as per the Department of Education, Training and Employment State School Teacher's Certified Agreement 2012.

Applications made under the Teachers’ Award can be made on a permanent or temporary basis. 

Applications can be made under the Family Leave Award (Queensland Public Sector) – State 2012 under the following circumstances:

  • By a female employee who is pregnant; or an employee who is the parent of a child. 
  • If the employee is the natural parent of the child, the application are to be made before the child turns two years.
  • If the employee is the adoptive parent of a child, the application are to be made before the second anniversary of the child’s placement with the employee.

If an application is approved, an employee can work part-time:

  • If she is pregnant, during the term of the pregnancy until 6 weeks before the expected date of birth; and/or 
  • From the seventh week after the day of the child’s birth until the child reaches 6 years and 6 months of age and is required to be enrolled in a year of schooling.
  • If their spouse gives birth to a child, from the day of the child’s birth until the child’s second birthday. 
  • If he or she adopts a child, from the day of the child’s placement with them until the child reaches 6 years and 6 months and is required to be enrolled in a year of schooling.

The professional duty of care and general conduct expected of full-time teachers is also expected of part-time teachers.

Responsibilities

Teachers:

  • Understand part-time employment entitlements and obligations and determine appropriate Award for making an application depending on individual circumstances. Applications can be made under provisions of Teachers’ Award – State 2012 or Family Leave (Queensland Public Sector) Award – State 2012.  
  • Understand and adhere to part-time employment conditions.
  • Apply for part-time employment by completing an Application for Part-Time Teaching form.
  • Discuss application with their Principal and/or Executive Director (Schools Improvement) to ensure operational requirements are met.
    • If the position can be performed on a full-time basis only, a suitable job-share partner is to be identified. This person may be identified by the interested employee or by workplace management. 
    • Employees may request to work part-time for a specified period of time. 
    • The work to be performed by the employee need not be the work performed by the employee in the employee’s former position.
  • If application is approved, formalise in writing the agreement with their Principal and/or Executive Director (Schools Improvement) by completing an Agreement for Part-Time Teaching form.
  • Adhere to the terms of the Agreement.
  • Agree on regular dates for reviewing the Agreement with their Principal and/or Executive Director (Schools Improvement).
  • Discuss with Principal and/or Executive Director (Schools Improvement) any difficulties they may have in adhering to the agreed terms.
  • Understand that the terms of the Agreement may be varied subject to further discussion and agreement of the parties.
    • At the request of the employer, the employee may work more hours than those recorded in the Agreement.

Principals:

  • Understand part-time employment entitlements and obligations under the provisions of Teachers’ Award – State 2012 or Family Leave (Queensland Public Sector) Award – State 2012.
  • Understand part-time employment conditions.
  • Consider all applications from teachers to work part-time.
  • Assess applications to work part-time based on the inherent requirements of the position and to take account of the following:
    • What outcomes are required and different ways of achieving them
    • Decision-making process is fair and transparent
    • Advantages of a proposal
    • Challenges of a proposal and the options available to overcome them.
  • If application is approved, formalise in writing the agreement with the employee by completing an Agreement for Part-Time Teaching form. An end date for an Agreement should be implemented:
    • When application is sought and approved under provisions of the Family Leave Award – State 2012, this provides for an employee to work part-time up until the child reaches 6 years and 6 months of age and is required to be enrolled in a year of schooling. Therefore, when the child reaches 6 years and 6 months of age and is required to be enrolled in schooling this is considered the end date.
    • When inherent requirements dictate that application for part-time work can only be approved for a specified period of time and there is evidence to support this.
    • At the employee’s request.
  • Agree on regular review dates with employee to discuss the Agreement and any issues.  
    • Review should not be implemented with the intent of discontinuing the arrangement. If there are problems with the part-time arrangement, these should be discussed along with viable solutions. 
  • Negotiate with employee a return to full-time teaching, if the employee was engaged originally in a full-time capacity and then agreed to work in a part-time with no end date.  
    • Return to full-time teaching requires agreement between the parties. Where the supervisor requires the teacher to return to full-time teaching and the parties are unable to agree, the matter may be referred to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for conciliation and/or arbitration.
  • Provide part-time teachers with the same level of support, commitment and access to developmental opportunities as full-time teachers.
  • Treat teachers accessing part-time employment fairly in selection processes.
  • Provide remuneration, level and status of the part-time employment that is comparable with teacher’s previous employment where the person is already a departmental employee.

Principal and Senior Human Resources Consultants: 

  • Provide expert advice and services to support implementation of part-time working arrangements.
  • Treat teachers accessing part-time employment fairly in selection processes.

Process

Part-time teaching
The step by step process for this procedure is contained in the Part-Time Teaching Employment Decision-Making Flowchart. Please refer to the Responsibilities section of this procedure for additional details.  

Further content will be included in this section following the next scheduled review of this procedure.

Online Resources

Review Date

31/12/2012
Attribution CC BY

Part-time employment
Work that involves less than the full time weekly hours of duty prescribed by the applicable award, industrial agreement or certified agreement.  Part-time employment involves regular and continuing employment on the same basis as a full-time employee.

Employees may be employed on a part-time basis or convert from full-time to part-time employment with the agreement of their employer.  Part-time employment can be permanent or for an agreed period of time. 

Inherent requirements
A combination of the requirements that are essential to the position (genuine occupational requirements) and the requirements essential to the operation of the workplace (operational requirements).

Example:
A principal may require teachers to attend a regular staff meeting and may consider this to be an inherent requirement of a teacher’s position. When assessing an application for part-time/job-share the principal may be concerned that a teacher who only works on Monday and Tuesday would not be able to attend the regular staff meeting as it is held on a Thursday. In identifying whether attending a staff meeting is an essential part of a teacher’s role the focus should be on ‘what’ is required (that is, that the staff member keeps up to date on school matters) rather than concentrating on the ‘how’ (attending staff meetings).

By focusing on ‘what’ outcome is required, consideration should be given to alternative ways of achieving the desired outcome. An alternative option for ensuring staff are kept up to date might be to have the staff meetings minuted. These minutes could then be distributed to staff enabling all staff who are unable to attend the staff meeting to stay up to date on school matters. Whilst minuting the meetings may not be desirable from an operational perspective as it may be considered to be additional work, the requirement to do so is not insurmountable and would not be considered unreasonable.

Genuine occupational requirements
The essential requirements of a position. They include the duties of the position (what needs to be done) and may be explicit (listed in a job description/work profile) or implicit (that is, not clearly specified but implied, for example the requirement to perform a task safely may not be listed in a position description but it is implied). 

Operational requirements
The requirements inherent to the operation of the workplace. These may include factors such as staffing numbers, class ratios, hours of operation etc.

Spouse
A spouse of an employee includes a de facto partner or a former spouse. A de facto partner is a reference to either one of two people who are living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis but who are not married to each other or related by family. The definition includes same-sex relationships.