Leave, absence & working arrangements
Family Leave Policy and Procedure
This policy and procedure applies to all employees of Loughborough University, regardless of contract type or duration, other than those employed on an irregular casual basis. It has been written following consultation with employee representatives.
The procedures outlined have been developed to ensure that family leave is dealt with fairly, sympathetically and effectively. The rights and responsibilities of all parties are clearly outlined.
Loughborough University is committed to ensuring that staff are able to balance their work and personal life. This policy sets out leave arrangements for staff with children and dependent adults.
There are provisions for other forms of leave which are dealt with by the University’s provisions for Special Leave and Leave of Absence.
Section A: Principles and Responsibilities
Equality and Diversity Statement
It is the aim of the University to provide a family leave policy that ensures staff receive their statutory entitlements with regards to family leave and are treated fairly and equitably when exercising their rights.
This policy takes into account current employment legislation and must be implemented in conjunction with the University’s Equalities Scheme and Equality Policy and Procedure.
To provide a clear procedure for dealing with family leave that ensures fair treatment and consistency of approach and is understood by all managers and employees.
- Ensure that they follow the correct procedure for requesting leave
- Maintain contact with their manager during periods of leave and ensure that they return to work as expected
Head of Department’s Responsibilities
- Ensure that staff are made aware of their rights under the family leave policy
- Respond to requests for leave promptly and fairly
- Ensure that absences due to family leave are recorded and covered appropriately
Human Resources Responsibilities
- Ensure that risk assessments are carried out for pregnant staff
- Process all requests for family leave promptly and accurately
- Provide advice to managers and employees as appropriate
Summary of Entitlement
A female employee is entitled to a total of 52 weeks’ maternity leave.
Pregnant employees will receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for a total of 39 weeks of the maternity leave period. Tax and National Insurance contributions will be deducted from this amount.
For the first 18 weeks’ of maternity leave the employee will receive full pay (a member of staff who receives additional contractual entitlements such as shift allowance is also entitled to this amount). This ‘top up’ of SMP is called Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP). If the employee does not intend to return to work at the University (for a minimum of 3 months) after maternity leave then she will normally be required to repay OMP.
For the next 21 weeks’ of maternity leave the employee shall be entitled to the current rate for statutory maternity pay or 90% of average weekly earnings (whichever is less). Please visit the Department of Work and Pensions website for the current maternity rates.
Compulsory maternity leave is the period of two weeks immediately after giving birth during which an employee is not permitted to work.
If an employee’s fixed term contract ends during maternity leave and she satisfies the conditions for SMP, she will be entitled to receive full OMP up to the date that the contract ends; from this date onwards she will continue to receive SMP. The University will continue to pay the SMP for the remainder of the entitlement even though the individual is no longer employed.
The birth of a child whether living or stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy will legally entitle an employee to full maternity leave and pay.
Maternity Leave Qualification
To qualify for SMP and OMP an employee must have been employed by the University for 26 weeks by the 15th week (qualifying week) before the baby is due. The employee must work at least one day of the qualifying week.
Leading up to and including the qualifying week, the employee must earn a minimum of £116.00 (The Lower Earning Limit) a week (tax year 2018-19) If she earns less than the Lower Earning Limit she will not be entitled to SMP and must contact the Benefits Agency to claim Maternity Allowance.
Notification of Intention to Take Maternity Leave
By the 15th week before the baby is due (the qualifying week) the employee must inform the University in writing that she is pregnant. The employee must include in the letter:
- The date the baby is DUE (the expected week of childbirth) as opposed to the actual day of birth.
- The expected week of childbirth, evidenced by a MATB1 certificate which can be obtained from their GP or midwife (normally issued within 20-26 weeks of pregnancy).
- The date that she intends to start maternity leave. Maternity leave/pay can commence on or after the 11th week before the due date of the baby.
The University will confirm the employee’s ‘return date to work’ (maximum of 52 weeks after the commencement date of maternity leave) within 28 days of the employee’s letter.
The employee is entitled to change the date she wishes to return to work by giving the University eight weeks’ notice.
It is usual for the employee to arrange an appointment with her HR Officer as soon as possible to discuss her pregnancy requirements. A risk assessment questionnaire form should be emailed by the employee the appropriate HR Officer as soon as possible; this is to assess the potential risks within the employee’s working area.
A copy of the completed form is sent to the relevant Head of Department and the University Health, Safety and Environment Manager. The University Health Safety and Environment Manager will contact the employee upon receipt of this form to clarify any issues made on the form (if necessary). If at any time, an employee is concerned about any potential hazards these should be communicated to either of the above personnel.
It is advised that employees contact Human Resources as soon as they know they are pregnant, to arrange a convenient appointment time.
An employee is entitled to paid time-off for ante-natal classes and hospital appointments. This must be discussed with the relevant line managers when making such arrangements and where possible this time off should be taken at the beginning and end of the working day so as to cause as little disruption as possible.
Sickness Triggering Maternity Leave
If, in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy an employee is absent from work due to a pregnancy related illness, maternity leave will automatically begin. If an absence is not related to her pregnancy then the normal sickness provision will apply.
Annual Leave is accrued during the period of the whole maternity leave period; however only 5 day’s holiday entitlement may be carried forward from one leave year to the next. Therefore employees are advised to either take outstanding leave prior to the commencement of maternity leave or immediately following it. The whole period of absence should not exceed 52 weeks in total wherever possible.
In addition to annual leave, if you are entitled to less than 28 days annual leave (e.g. 20 or 25 days), while on maternity leave you will accrue the bank holiday days that fall while you are off to top up your leave to the statutory minimum of 28 days (this only refers to statutory bank holiday days and does not include any entitlement to university closure days).
If the employee is a member of the Universities Superannuation Scheme or Local Government Scheme, contributions are deducted to the amount of occupational and statutory pay actually paid during the period of maternity leave. During the statutory pay period, pension contributions are made up by the University to the full salary equivalent (USS members) or deemed to have been paid at that level in the LGPS.
To ensure continuity of reckonable service the employee may wish to continue to pay contributions for the maternity leave period and it is advised that they contact Pensions and Payroll, who will advise and make the necessary arrangements.
Pay Rises Whilst on Maternity Leave
If the employee is awarded a pay rise (or would have been awarded such a rise) had they not been absent on maternity leave their Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP) must be increased to take the pay rise into account.
Summary of Entitlement
An employee is entitled to a total of 52 weeks’ adoption leave.
The employee will receive Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for a total of 39 weeks of their adoption leave. Tax and National Insurance contributions will be deducted from this amount.
For the first 18 weeks’ of adoption leave the employee will receive their full pay amount as usual (a member of staff who receives additional contractual entitlements such as shift allowance is also entitled to this amount). This ‘top up’ of SAP is called Occupational Adoption Pay (OAP) If an employee does not intend to return to work at the University (for a minimum of 3 months) after adoption leave then they will normally be required to repay OAP.
For the next 21 weeks of adoption leave the employee shall be entitled to SAP or 90% of average weekly earnings (whichever is less).
In the unfortunate event that an adoption placement is termianted during the adoption leave, advice should be sought from the relevant HR contact.
Adoption Leave Qualification
To qualify for SAP an employee must have been employed by the University for 26 weeks before the ‘match’ with a child is made by the registered Adoption Agency.
A request for adoption leave must be in writing and must be received at least 7 days before a ‘match’ is made with a child by the Adoption Agency.
Adoption leave can commence from the date the child starts living with the employee or 14 days before this date.
In a request for adoption leave the University must receive a copy of the Matching Certificate of the child naming the employee as the adoptive parent.
Leading up to and including the week before the ‘match’ the employee must earn a minimum of £113.00 a week (tax year 2017-18).
When a couple adopts, they can choose who takes adoption leave and who takes paternity leave. The employee must notify the University of the date they plan to start their leave when matched with a child. Adoption leave will be available to parents adopting a child up to 18 years of age when the child is placed for adoption.
An employee is entitled to paid time-off work to attend 5 adoption appointments after the 'match' with a child. This must be discussed with the relevant line managers when making such arrangements and where possible this time off should be taken at the beginning and end of the working day so as to cause as little disruption as possible.
Annual Leave is accrued during the period of the whole adoption leave period; however only 5 day’s holiday entitlement may be carried forward from one leave year to the next (pro-rata for part time staff). Therefore employees are advised to either take outstanding leave prior to the commencement of adoption leave or immediately following it. The whole period of adoption leave absence should not exceed 52 weeks in total wherever possible.
If the employee is a member of the Universities Superannuation Scheme or Local Government Scheme, contributions are required to the amount of occupational and statutory pay actually paid during the period of adoption leave. During the statutory pay period, pension contributions are made up by the University to the full salary equivalent (USS members) or deemed to have been paid at that level in the LGPS.
To ensure continuity of reckonable service the employee may wish to continue to pay contributions for the adoption leave period and it is advised that they contact Pensions and Payroll who will advise and make the necessary arrangements.
Pay Rises Whilst on Adoption Leave
If the employee is awarded a pay rise (or would have been awarded such a rise) had they not been absent on adoption leave their Occupational Adoption Pay (OAP) must be increased to take the pay rise into account.
Summary of Entitlement
Employees who are taking maternity or adoption leave have the chance to go into work, to undertake training and keep in touch without bringing the period of leave to an end.
Any work done on a day during the employee’s maternity/adoption leave period will count as a whole keeping-in-touch day, even if it is for only an hour or so.
The type of work undertaken on KIT days is a matter of agreement between the employee and their Head of Department. These days may be used for any activity which ordinarily would be classed as work under the employee’s contract, for which they would be paid, and could be particularly useful in enabling the employee to attend a conference, undertake a training activity or attend for a team meeting or personal development interview. Important projects can benefit from the inclusion of employees with valued skills, also training and development can continue during maternity leave.
KIT days are optional. The University may not require an employee to work during maternity leave if the employee does not wish to and they are entitled to turn the opportunity down without suffering any consequences as a result. Similarly, the employee does not have the right to work KIT days if their Head of Department does not agree to them. It is unlawful for an employee to suffer detriment for not agreeing to work KIT days, or for working or considering such work.
When taking maternity leave an employee is allowed up to 10 KIT days and these may be undertaken at any stage during the maternity leave period, by agreement with the Head of Department (except during the first two weeks after the baby is born). These KIT days do not extend the maternity leave period in any way as they form part of the whole maternity leave package and can only be taken during maternity leave.
Payment for KIT Days
Payment will be made as follows:-
- Payment for KIT days will not exceed full pay. If a KIT day occurs during a period of full Maternity Pay then no additional payment will be made. However the hours worked will not count against the allowance for Occupational Maternity Pay.
- If a KIT Day occurs during the period of SMP only, this will be effectively “topped-up” so that the employee receives full pay at their normal hourly rate for the hours worked on the day in question.
- If a KIT Day occurs during an unpaid leave period the employee will receive full pay at their normal hourly rate for the hours worked on that day.
- If the work carried out during one shift straddles midnight it may be counted as one day for the purposes of KIT days, if the employee’s normal working pattern is such that this would fall within a normal working day.
- Payment for KIT days will be pensionable.
- Payment for KIT Days will only be made after completion of the day’s work.
A KIT form is available to record and receive payment for your KIT days.
Any work done on any day during the maternity leave period will count as a whole KIT day up to the 10 day maximum. In other words, if an employee comes in for a one-hour training session and does no other work that day they will have used one of their KIT days for the purposes of the 10 day maximum, although payment will only be made for actual hours worked.
Summary of Entitlement
Two consecutive weeks (an employee cannot take odd days off but the weeks can start on any day, e.g Tuesday-Monday) of paternity leave can be taken on or from the date of birth of the child.
Paternity leave must be taken within 8 weeks of the actual date of birth of the child.
The employee will receive full pay for the first week of paternity leave and will then receive Statutory Paternity Pay for the second week or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is less). Tax and national Insurance contributions will be deducted from this amount.
The birth of a child whether living or stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy will legally entitle an employee to full paternity leave and pay.
Paternity Leave Qualification
To qualify for SPP the employee must be the biological father or adopter of the child or mother's husband, partner or civil partner (i.e must be responsible for the child's upbringing).
A father can be eligible for paternity leave and pay even if he is not named on the birth certificate if he is the mother's spouse, partner or civil partner. As the entitlement to paternity leave is based on a relationship with the child's mother, paternity and adoption leave also apply to partnerships of the same sex. Since December 2005 unmarried 'civil partners' have had the same rights as spouses in many respects. This includes an entitlement to paternity, maternity and adoption leave and pay.
To qualify for SPP the employee must have been employed by the University for 26 weeks by the 15th week (qualifying week) before the baby is due.
Leading up to and including the qualifying week the employee must earn a minimum of £116 (The Lower Earning Limit) a week (tax year 2018-19).
The employee must also give the University notice of the date they want to start paternity leave in the 15th week before the baby is due and the date of when they intend to return to work.
Maternity Support Leave
Maternity support leave can be claimed by the child's father or partner of a pregnant woman if they do not satisfy the requirement for paternity leave. It can also be claimed by anyone nominated by the pregnant woman to assist in the case of the child and to provide support to the mother at or around the time of the birth.
Time off to accompany a pregnant woman to ante-natal appointments
Expectant fathers and partners (including civil partners) of a pregnant woman are entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to up to 2 of her ante-natal appointments, up to a maximum of 6.5 hours for each appointment. Extra time, if required, can be taken from an employee’s annual leave.
- The employee must submit a signed declaration to their line manager, stating:
- That the employee has a qualifying relationship with a pregnant woman or her expected child;
- That the employee’s purpose in taking time off is to accompany a pregnant woman to an ante-natal appointment;
- That the appointment in question is made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered nurse; and
- The date and time of the appointment
Summary of Entitlement
Parental leave offers employees the right to take unpaid time off work to look after their child or make arrangements for their welfare. It can help employees spend more time with their child and strike a better balance between their work and family commitments.
Parental Leave must not amount to more than 18 weeks (which can be taken up to the child’s eighteenth birthday). Employees are entitled to take a maximum of 4 weeks’ a year.
Employees with a child up to the age of 18 years, may apply for parental leave.
Parental Leave Qualification
The employee must have more than one year’s continuous service with the University. The employee must have legal parental responsibility for the child.
Procedure for Applying for Parental Leave
The University must be given 21 days written notice of an employee’s intention to take Parental Leave in excess of 4 days’ duration.
The written notice must contain details of why the employee needs to take Parental Leave and the dates and periods of time that they wish to be absent.
The University reserves the right to postpone any request for Parental Leave for up to 6 months.
Parental Leave may be taken on a per parent per child basis and can be taken to lengthen paternity and maternity leave within reasonable limits. Leave may be taken in daily or weekly blocks.
The leave can be for any purpose connected with the care of the child.
Summary of Entitlement
All eligible employees have the right to ask that their employer consider their proposal for flexible working conditions.
Staff should note that they have the right to request flexible working and not an automatic right to alter their work patterns in this way. However, the University takes all such requests seriously and is committed to following best practice in this area and to helping staff to balance work and home life.
Employees should also note that, if their request is approved, it constitutes a permanent change in their contracted hours and there is no automatic right to revert back to full-time employment in the future. Part time staff who would like to revert to full time working are encouraged to discuss this with their Dean or Director of Service and any such requests will be considered carefully.
Examples of potential Flexible Working arrangements:
- Part-time working: Work is generally considered part-time when employers are contracted to work anything less than full-time hours.
- Term-time working: A worker remains on a open ended contract but is not required to work during school holidays.
- Job-sharing: A form of part-time working where two (or occasionally more) people share the responsibility for a job between them.
- Flexitime: Allows employees to choose, within certain set limits, when to begin and end work.
- Compressed hours: Compressed working weeks (or fortnights) do not necessarily involve a reduction in total hours or any extension in individual choice over which hours are worked. The central feature is reallocation of work into fewer and longer blocks during the week.
- Annual hours: The period within which full-time employees must work is defined over a whole year.
- Working from home on a regular basis: Workers regularly spend time working from home.
- Mobile working/teleworking: This permits employees to work all or part of their working week at a location remote from the employer's workplace.
- Career breaks: Career breaks, or sabbaticals, are extended periods of unpaid leave.
Qualification to Request Flexible Working
In order to qualify, an employee must:
- have worked for the University for 26 weeks' continuously before applying
- not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months
- Employees who have been employed for less than 26 weeks, agency workers and office holders do not have a statutory right to request flexible working. However, the University is committed to being a flexible employer and may consider requests from workers in these categories on an exceptional basis.
Procedure for Requesting Flexible Working
The initial onus is on the employee to prepare a carefully thought-out written application well in advance of when they would like the desired working pattern to take effect. The employee’s line manager then follows a set procedure to help ensure the request is considered seriously, which seeks to facilitate discussion and enables both parties to gain a clear understanding of each other’s thinking.
Within 28 days both parties are required to meet to discuss the application. The employee is entitled to be accompanied at this meeting by a colleague or trade union representative.
Within 14 days the University will notify the employee of their decision.
If the request is accepted then an agreement for flexible working will be formed and HR will confirm the change to the employee’s contract of employment.
If the request is rejected, the employee is entitled to a written explanation detailing why they have been refused flexible working.
The employee’s line manager may only refuse a request where there is a recognised business ground for doing so. These are:-
- Burden of additional costs
- Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
- Inability to recruit additional staff
- Detrimental impact on quality
- Detrimental impact on performance
- Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
- Planned structural changes.
If the request is not accepted then the employee may appeal in accordance with the appeal stage of the relevant grievance procedure.
If the appeal is accepted then an agreement for flexible working will be formed and HR will confirm the change to the employee’s contract of employment.
There are provisions for other forms of leave which are dealt with by the University’s provisions for Special Leave and Leave of Absence.
Summary of Entitlement
Shared parental leave is designed to give parents more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year following birth or adoption. Parents will be able to share a pot of leave, and can decide to be off work at the same time and/or take it in turns to have periods of leave to look after the child.
Shared Parental Leave is another option for mothers, fathers, partners and adopters, in addition to Maternity Leave (Section B) Adoption Leave (Section C) and Paternity Leave (Section E). These are still available and can be taken by employees who meet the qualifying criteria. To create SPL, the mother decides to end her maternity or adoption leave early, so that she and her partner can take the remaining leave as SPL. The maximum amount of SPL available is 50 weeks, as the mother must take a minimum of 2 weeks’ maternity or adoption leave immediately after the birth or arrival of the child
If you opt for Shared Parental Leave, the University will pay, at its discretion,the same entitlements as maternity leave, which is as follows:
- 16 weeks at full pay
- 21 weeks of statutory pay, currently £145.18.
- 13 weeks unpaid
This will be calculated based on the amount of weeks already taken at the start of each new block of shared parental leave. A worked example is provided below.
The flexibility of Shared Parental Leave includes:
- Parents can take SPL at the same time or at different times.
- It can be taken in up to 3 separate blocks, as long as you give at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intentions.
To qualify for Shared Parental Leave, you must share the care of the child with either:
- Your husband, wife, civil partner or adopter
- The child’s other parent
- Your partner (if they live with you and your child)
In addition, to qualify for Shared Parental Pay:
- You must have been employed continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date or (or matching date for adoption)
- Remain employed by the University while taking SPL
- Your partner must have been working for at least 26 weeks of the 66 weeks before the baby is due or matched
- Your partner must have earned at least £390 a week on average in 13 of the 66 weeks
- Only employees are entitled to SPL
- You can only share the leave with one other qualifying person
A mother works for a different organisation and takes 10 weeks maternity leave.
She ends her maternity leave and her partner, who works for the University then wishes to take the remaining 42 weeks leave.
S/he will be paid as follows:
- 8 weeks at full pay
- 21 weeks at the statutory rate
- 13 weeks unpaid
Giving notice of your intentions
- You must take a minimum of 2 weeks’ maternity or adoption leave by law, so the maximum amount of SPL available for both eligible partners is 50 weeks.
- To request SPL, you must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intention to end your maternity or adoption leave.
- The maximum amount of ShPP available is 37 weeks.
- Both parents must be eligible to qualify for SPL.
Having an early and informal discussion with your manager and / or HR can help you decide what you would like to do and what your department can support. Taking Shared Parental Leave will work best when there are no surprises. While continuous SPL will always be acceptable when correctly notified, a request to take separate blocks of SPL may be problematic for your manager and your request may be refused or modified.
To assist Payroll administering SPL, please provide the name and address of your partner’s employer to email@example.com with ‘Shared Parental Leave’ in the email header.
Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days
SPLIT days are available to both parents, up to a maximum of 20, during SPL. These can be useful for staying in touch and attending important events or training, however there is no obligation for the employee to attend or for the Department to offer them. SPLIT days are in addition to the 10 ‘Keeping in Touch’ (KIT) days, available to those on maternity or adoption leave.
A Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days form is available to record and receive payment for your SPLIT days.
Any work done on any day during the Shared Parental leave period will count as a whole SPLIT day up to the ten day maximum. In other words, if an employee comes in for a one-hour training session and does no other work that day they will have used one of their SPLIT days for the purposes of the ten day maximum, although payment will only be made for actual hours worked.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q1 Do both employers have to agree to our plans?
A1 Yes, particularly if you want to take separate blocks of SPL.
Q2 Do I have to prove my partner is eligible for SPL?
A2 No, each employee has to confirm they are eligible to their employer. You will need to provide the name and address of your partner’s employer to University Payroll.
Q3 What happens if my proposal is not acceptable?
A3 We hope that with informal discussions, your proposal will be agreed before you submit the form for sign off. If your manager is unable to agree to your proposal, you and your partner will need to reconsider and withdraw your notice to book within 2 weeks. It may be that the only option acceptable to your manager is continuous SPL, due to cover arrangements.
Please note both employers have to agree to your proposal. If one employer does not agree, you will need to withdraw your notice to book within 2 weeks and resubmit.
Q4 How does the mother curtail her Maternity Leave so that her partner can convert it into Shared Parental Leave?
A4 If the mother returns to work before using her 52 weeks’ Maternity Leave entitlement, this will be converted into SPL entitlement and will be available for her or her partner to take at a later date, as long as they give a minimum of 8 weeks’ notice and the manager is agreeable. This will be paid as Shared Parental Pay in accordance with the arrangements detailed above. .
Q5 I will receive Maternity Allowance, do I qualify for Shared Parental Leave and / or Shared Parental Pay?
A5 You may qualify for SPL but not for ShPP. A mother who did not meet the qualifying criteria for Statutory Maternity Pay cannot qualify for Shared Parental Pay.
Q6 As the expectant mother, when can my partner access Shared Parental Leave?
A6 The partner can only start SPL when the mother or adopter has ended her Maternity or Adoption Leave, thereby allowing the remainder of the leave to be re classified as SPL. This can happen by either you returning to work or you opting to take SPL.
Q7 What happens if the mother changes her mind?
A7 Once the mother has returned to work, she cannot restart her maternity leave. Any untaken Maternity Leave will be classified as Shared Parental Leave for payroll purposes and the mother must apply with the minimum notice to the department of 8 weeks. If the partner has already started SPL, the employer may require the partner to take unpaid leave, as their entitlement to SPL and ShPP ceases with immediate effect.
Q8 How will the University know how much leave the family has taken?
A8 The University employee will tell us how much SPL is available to him or her and the other parent. They will also tell us how much leave each of them intends to take and they will give you the written consent of the other parent to the division of the leave. Once it is established how much SPL our employee will take, we will record the cumulative weeks taken as SPL to ensure the entitlement is not exceeded.
Q9 What happens to our SPL and ShPP entitlement if I separate from my partner?
A9 As long as you continue to satisfy the qualifying criteria as parents of the child, any change in domestic arrangements will not impact on your entitlement to SPL and ShPP.
Q10 Can both parents take SPL at the same time?
A10 Yes, they can if – this means the total leave entitlement will be used up more quickly.
Q11 Do I have the right to return to the same job after taking Shared Parental Leave?
A11 The right to return to the same job will be maintained for returning from any period of relevant statutory leave that includes Maternity, or Paternity, Adoption or Shared Parental Leave that totals 26 weeks or less in aggregate, even if the leave is taken in discontinuous blocks. This will mean that an employee who takes 26 weeks or less of any combination of relevant statutory leave will have the right to return to the same job. Periods of unpaid parental leave of more than four weeks are excluded from the ’26 week calculation’. Once you have taken more than 26 weeks of relevant statutory leave in aggregate (including any combination of maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave) then you will have the right to return to the same job or (if this is not practicable) to a suitable alternative job.
Q12 Does SPL need to be taken immediately following the mothers maternity leave?
A12 No, both mother and partner can be at work at the same time before a period of SPL is taken. Week 52 still marks the end of SPL and weeks worked together during this period are sacrificed and not added on at the end.
Time off for dependants is time off work to deal with an unforeseen emergency involving a dependant in the following circumstances:
- To provide assistance when a dependant falls ill or is taken to hospital;
- To make arrangements for the provision of care for an ill or injured dependant;
- Because of the unexpected disruption or termination of care arrangements of a dependant or the breakdown of those arrangements;
- To deal with an incident that involves their child, where it occurs unexpectedly while the child is at school/other educational establishment, e.g. sickness.
All employees, irrespective of length of service, are entitled to request a reasonable amount of emergency time off work in order to deal with an emergency situation involving their dependant.
Time off for the purpose of this policy does not include an entitlement to pay. However, it is accepted that time off needs to be considered in the context of what is reasonable for the circumstances and paid leave under this policy will be subject to the line manager’s discretion.
A dependant could be a spouse, partner, child, parent or someone who depends on you for care.
An emergency situation is normally one that is unexpected and requires immediate attention.
The purpose of the time off is to deal with the immediate unexpected emergencies and to put other necessary care arrangements in place. The amount of time off granted under this policy will depend upon the particular circumstances of each case. It is not intended to provide extended time off for on-going care, recurring matters or for planned time off work.
Procedure for requesting time off for dependants
Where an employee requires emergency time off under this policy they should seek the approval of their line manager, as soon as is reasonably practicable, explaining the reason for requesting emergency time off and indicating when they expect to be back at work.
The employee’s line manager will consider each request in line with this policy and may support the request in part or in full. If a request is considered unreasonable or outside the scope of the policy it may be rejected.
If the request is rejected, the employee is entitled to a written explanation detailing why they have been refused time off.
iv. If the request is not accepted then the employee may appeal in accordance with the appeal stage of the relevant grievance procedure.
In some circumstances, a request for time off for dependants maybe dealt with under a different policy, such as annual leave or flexible working if it is considered more appropriate.
Where there is a recurring or longer term caring need, the line manager and employee should look at flexible working arrangements rather than time off under this policy.
There are provisions for other forms of leave which are dealt with by the University’s provisions for Flexible working, Special Leave and Leave of Absence.