We have discovered that one of our employees, who is currently on extended parental leave (a year and a half), has been working part-time at another workplace. Can you please confirm what our obligations are to continue her employment, if any? Do we have to provide her with a role when she is expected to return in 6 months, or has she breached the arrangement by seeking employment elsewhere?
You may like to review the employee’s employment agreement or other relevant instrument to determine the employee’s obligations regarding work outside of their employment.
Generally, an employee on parental leave should not undertake any activity that is inconsistent with their employment contract as this may lead to repudiation of their contract.
In future, you may like to obtain a statutory declaration from the employee that outlines their leave period and also their partner’s leave arrangements. In this statutory declaration, you may ask the employee to state that they will be the child’s primary caregiver and that they will not do work inconsistent with their conditions of employment while on parental leave.