Keeping Your Career


The following article features in Issue One of the ST BREAST magazine.


Managing professional and career commitments can be difficult after a breast cancer diagnosis, but some Australian employers are recognising that they need to support staff during periods of chronic illness. We spoke with Tim Naim, Head of Health, Safety & Wellbeing at the National Australia Bank about how one of Australia’s biggest employers can assist its people.


What policies/procedures does NAB have in place to assist employees through both work and nonwork related injury and illness?

All NAB employees are entitled to 12 days paid sick leave accrued progressively throughout each calendar year (pro-rata for part time employees).

NAB is committed to supporting our people through injury and illness, as well as in their successful return to work where necessary. NAB has a strong early intervention focus to injury and illness management, and has an internal Health Management and Rehabilitation team (made up of allied health professionals) who provide support to employees and their business units.

Those experiencing psychological illness can also access counselling services through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) program.

How important are flexible work practices during times of illness?

At NAB, we understand that supporting our people to achieve work/life balance is imperative to ensuring they can contribute productively in their role.  This is why we are committed to providing flexible working policies (including flexible work arrangements, breaks from work and support in special circumstances) to help employees balance life priorities with work and manage their careers.

We know that during illness, there are additional pressures and concerns and we encourage our People Leaders to work with their staff members to create a flexible working arrangement that best works for the person experiencing illness, their team and the business. This allows people to focus on managing their treatment and recovery, instead of being uncertain about work.

We want people to get well, return to work and continue to meet their personal and professional needs.

Is there a particular sick leave policy for a chronic illness like breast cancer?

Our people can also access Prolonged Sick Leave, which is paid leave that may be made available to an employee when they:

• Have a prolonged personal illness or injury;
• Have exhausted their accrued sick leave; and
• Are not in receipt of workers compensation or temporary disability payments.


NAB Communications Executive Nina Bosco Tells Her Story. Click here to read.