Mother and father and baby

The College recognises the demands of family life and is committed to supporting members of staff to obtain a good work life balance.  With this in mind, this note will help you by guiding you through the Paternity/Maternity Support Leave, what may need to be considered and steps that need to be taken. 

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Paternity/Maternity Support policy must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers.

This guidance has been designed to act as a point of reference.  For further details please refer to the full policy which can be downloaded from this page's sidebar.

What is Paternity/Maternity Support Leave?

Where the partner of  somebody who is either pregnant or adopting a baby or child, or having baby through a surrogacy agreement, meets the Paternity / maternity support leave and pay eligibility criteria, they will be entitled to receive the College’s  enhanced Paternity/Maternity Support leave and pay.  Paternity/Maternity Support Leave and Pay is also available to members of staff who are jointly adopting or having a baby through a surrogacy agreement, where their partner is taking Adoption/Surrogacy Leave.

What do I need to do?

Staff guidance

1.    Before the birth/placement for adoption:

Calendar with three pins a) Where your partner is expecting a baby you will be able to take paid time off to accompany her to two ante-natal appointments.
b) Where you and your partner are adopting a child, and your partner is the primary adopter, as the secondary adopter, you will be able to take paid time off to attend up to two adoption appointments after you have been matched with a child (for example these may include contact with the child prior to the adoption, or parenting classes).
c) Where you and your partner are having a baby through a surrogacy agreement, and you are a potential applicant for a parental order in relation to the child born to the surrogate mother, you will be able to take paid time off to accompany the surrogate mother to two antenatal appointments. 

It is helpful to give your manager as much notice of these appointments as possible.  Your manager may also ask you for confirmation of the time and date of the appointments, and to confirm the purpose of the appointments.

 2.    Before giving notice of your intention to take Paternity/Maternity Support Leave and Pay:

Woman thinking about baby a) Check that you are  eligible to take Paternity/Maternity Support Leave and Pay  at: Paternity / maternity support leave and pay eligibility
b) Think about how much leave you want to take. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be entitled to two weeks’ Paternity/Maternity Support Leave. You can choose to take this as either one week, or two consecutive weeks (the leave cannot be taken as odd days or as two separate weeks)

c) Think about when you want your leave to start.  You can start your leave on any day of the week or following the child’s birth or placement for adoption (the leave cannot start before the birth/placement for adoption). 

The leave must be completed within 56 days of the actual date of birth or date of placement of your child for adoption or if your baby is born early, within the period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the expected week of childbirth.

 3.    Give notice of your intention to take Paternity/Maternity Support Leave:

Person completing form a) You can do this by completing the Paternity /MaternitySupport /Adoption pay and leave request  form, and sending this to your manager and HR contact no later than the end of the 15th week before the baby is due or within seven days of being notified that you have been matched with a child for adoption.

b) If you aren’t able to meet the timescales above, you must provide notice as soon as reasonably practicable

c) Following receipt of the form, your HR contact will write to you to confirm arrangements for your leave.

4.    Support for you:

Human Resources post it notes Your HR representative will be able to assist with any questions you have about Paternity/Maternity Support Leave.

Details of other initiatives for prospective and new parents  can be accessed via the Parenting Network.

Managers' guidance

1.   Paid time off for appointments and antenatal care

 

Man with pregnant woman Where your member of staff’s partner is expecting a baby:

They will be able to take paid time off to accompany their partner to two ante-natal appointments, which, for example, could include medical examinations and parenting classes.  

Couple talking to man Where your member of staff and their partner are adopting a child (and their partner is the primary adopter):

As the secondary adopter, they will be able to take paid time off to attend up to two appointments connected with the adoption (for example contact with the child prior to the adoption, or parenting classes).

  Couple with child Where your member of staff and their partner are having a baby through a surrogacy agreement:

If your member of staff is a potential applicant for a parental order in relation to the child born to the surrogate mother, they will be able to take paid time off to accompany the surrogate mother to two antenatal appointments.

Members of staff are expected to provide as much notice of these appointments as possible.  In addition, you may request written confirmation of the time and date of these appointments, and the purpose of the appointments. 

2.      Providing formal notice of intention to take Paternity/Maternity Support Leave and Pay:

 

Your member of staff will need to:

Form word on keyboard Complete a Paternity /MaternitySupport /Adoption pay and leave request form and send this to you and your HR representative no later than the end of the 15th week before the baby is due or within seven days of being notified by the adoption agency that they have been matched with a child.

Where your member of staff is not able to meet the timescales above, they must provide notice soon as reasonably practicable.

Your HR representative will:

HR word on keyboard Following receipt of the completed Paternity/Maternity Support pay and leave request form, provide written confirmation of entitlement and advise Pay Office, Pensions and Research Contracts (if applicable).

Be available to provide policy advice and support to you and your staff member if you have any questions about Paternity/Maternity Support Leave entitlement.

 3.    Support for you:

Support text on keyboard Your HR representative will be able to provide advice and will assist you with administration related to  Paternity/Maternity Support Leave.

 Support for your staff member: Your HR representative will assist with any queries relating to Paternity/Maternity Support Leave.