Children on Campus - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

1.1 The University of Queensland is committed to the principle of equal opportunity for staff and students and promotes a work and study environment that respects family responsibilities.

1.2 In 1991, the Federal Government signed International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 156: Workers with Family Responsibilities. The convention focuses on issues for workers in balancing their work and family responsibilities.

1.3 The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) prohibits discrimination on the basis of breastfeeding, family responsibilities and parental status in education and employment. The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) also prohibits discrimination on the basis of breastfeeding (including expressing) and family responsibilities. Under the Fair Work Act 2009, an employer must not take adverse action against a person who is an employee or prospective employee of the employer because of the person's family or carer responsibilities. The University also has obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld).

1.4 The purpose of this policy is to outline the conditions in which children are normally permitted to be at The University of Queensland as a work and study environment.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Child - a person under the age of 15 years

Campus - a recognised University of Queensland work or study environment, owned or operated by the University. This excludes telecommuting arrangements, where a UQ staff member is working from home.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all University of Queensland staff, students and visitors to the University.

4. Policy Statement

Children, including children who are students, must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult while on campus and must not be allowed to interfere with the work or study responsibilities of other staff or students.

5. Children Who Are Students

A child who makes an application to study a program or a course at the University and who meets all admission requirements will be made an offer conditional upon the child, through their parent or guardian, receiving approval from both the relevant Executive Dean and the Academic Registrar for the child to undertake the program.

Matters that will be taken into consideration when determining a request for such approval will include, but not be limited to:

  • The suitability of the course or program for study by a child;
  • Whether there are legislative or other impediments to the child being able to engage in the course or program in question (eg age restrictions to enter facilities);
  • Detail of the arrangements that will be made by the parent or guardian to supervise the child while on campus, including when undertaking academic activities associated with their enrolment;
  • How the child’s welfare will be managed while on campus in terms of interacting in an environment which is primarily intended for adult learners; and
  • What impact the presence of a child may have on other students and members of staff associated with the course or program.

The Academic Registrar may impose reasonable conditions on a child’s enrolment to ensure the child’s safety and welfare while attending the University. Conditions may be imposed also on the activities of parents or guardians who supervise the child during their academic activities.

6. Children Who Are Not Students

While a number of childcare and family support facilities for use by staff and students are available on the University's campuses (see the Work and Family website), the University recognises that:

  • children visit UQ campuses for UQ-sponsored outreach activities, to visit UQ clinics, museums and libraries, and for various sporting, recreational and community activities;
  • on occasion, parents may need to bring their children into the University environment during emergencies, for example when childcare arrangements have failed unexpectedly; and
  • women staff, students or visitors may need to bring children onto campus to breastfeed.

6.1 Where Children Are Not Permitted

6.1.1 There are some areas of the University where children are not permitted because of potential health and safety risks. Examples include laboratories, workshops and places with animals or where farm/grounds equipment is in use. Exceptions to this would be as determined by a formal approved risk assessment.

6.1.2 Children will not be permitted in an examination at any time due to the potential impact on the carer and disruption to students. If a student is unable to attend an exam due to the sudden illness of their child or dependant, or failure of childcare or carer arrangements, they may apply for a deferred examination (See paragraphs 5.7.8 and 5.7.9 in Assessment - Procedures). This application should be supported by a medical certificate for the child/dependent or a statutory declaration.

6.1.3 Children who are ill or who may infect others should not be in the University environment (for staff, see Personal Leave).

6.2 Permission and Responsibility

6.2.1 Permission to bring children into work or study environments is at the discretion of the relevant supervisor or manager. Wherever possible such permission should be sought prior to arrival at the workplace. Requests are expected to be viewed sympathetically and within the framework of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld). The supervisor must give consideration to the level of risk associated with the child's presence at the University. The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) states:

a person may do an act that is reasonably necessary to protect public health, and the health and safety of people at a place of work (General Exemptions For Discrimination, Sections 107 and 108).

6.2.2 If the supervisor or manager believes that the presence of a child is causing an unacceptable health and safety risk, or unreasonable disruption to others, they may request that the child be taken away from the area by the parent, carer or responsible adult.

6.2.3 At all times, parents, carers and responsible adults must ensure the safety of the children they are supervising.

6.3 Carer Facilities on Campus

6.3.1 The University has established family and parenting rooms so that staff, students and visitors may breastfeed or bottle feed their child and/or express milk on campus, with access to suitable facilities (For more information on the locations of these rooms, go to the Work and Family website and UQnav mobile application). Where a room is not located conveniently, for example, at smaller University sites, staff and students should discuss their requirements with their supervisor. The supervisor should make every reasonable effort to put in place suitable arrangements. The Workplace Diversity and Inclusion unit and/or Human Resources are available for consultation on these matters. Parenting rooms will be included in major new and rehabilitated buildings and other buildings on an as needed basis.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Dunne
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Dunne