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Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave

Welcome to the Maternity, Paternity and Adoption pages. These relate to our policies and procedures around leave for the birth or adoption of your baby.

This information is intended as a practical guide and should be read in conjunction with the appropriate policies, which provide detailed information on legislation, entitlements and procedures. 

We advise that you read this information carefully and if you have any questions contact your Personnel Adviser.


Once you know you are pregnant you should consider your entitlement to maternity leave and pay and understand what you qualify for. This section will help you with information for before, during and after your maternity leave. 

Information and help concerning Maternity leave can be found in:

Entitlement to Maternity Leave

Maternity leave and Maternity pay are completely separate entitlements. Entitlement to Maternity leave is not dependent upon length of service or the number of hours worked per week.

You are entitled to take up to one year’s (52 weeks) maternity leave, regardless of length of service with the University. Maternity leave is a single continuous period and is made up of:

  • 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML)
  • 26 weeks Additional Maternity Leave (AML)

Additional Maternity Leave follows Ordinary Maternity Leave and there must be no gap between the two.

Establishing Your Entitlement to Maternity Pay

Entitlement to maternity pay will depend on length of service and on whether you return to work following your Maternity Leave.

There may be one of three types of Maternity Pay that you are entitled to please see the Maternity Policy

Useful information

Please see our Step by Step Maternity Guide to ensure that we have all the information required to administer you maternity leave correctly.

If you would like more detailed information about SMP read the government guide to Maternity Benefits

During both ordinary and additional maternity leave, an employee is entitled to the benefit of, and is bound by, all of the terms and conditions that would have applied but for her absence, except for terms and conditions regarding remuneration. You can find information about holiday entitlements and the Pension contributions in the Maternity Policy


Keeping in Touch Days 

Employees may, by agreement with their Head of Department, undertake up to 10 days paid work, referred to as KIT (“Keeping in Touch") days, during their Maternity Leave. Please read Keeping in Touch Days for more information. 

Employees wishing to undertake a KIT day should complete a Keep In Touch Day Form and forward this to their line manager in the first instance. 


What you must do before returning to work

  • After the birth of your child, you must confirm in writing whether it is still your intention to return to work. This should be done by completing form Maternity Form - Early Return to Work (ML2)
  • You must give at least eight weeks' notice of any changes to the date you intend to return to work. You can also use form Maternity Form - Early Return to Work (ML2) to do this. Failure to give this notice may lead to a postponement of return until eight weeks have elapsed.
  • You must return to work within the specified period for at least three months in order to retain the additional occupational benefits. Employees are entitled to retain SMP even when they do not return to work. However, the University reserves the right to reclaim all the non-statutory elements of pay if an employee fails to return for this period of time.


Shared Parental Leave

Please see the links below for information on Shared Parental Leave.

Shared Parental Leave Policy

Shared Parental Leave - Period of Leave Notice

Shared Parental Leave - Notice of Entitlement and Intention to Take Leave

Shared Parental Leave - Maternity Curtailment Notice

Shared Parental Leave - Notice of entitlement and intention (partner)

Shared Parental Leave - variation of period of leave notice


  • Partners or spouses of new mothers are entitled to 2 weeks paternity leave on full pay. 
  • This can be taken as one week or two consecutive weeks paid paternity (not odd days). The leave cannot start earlier that the date of childbirth and must be taken within 56 days (8 weeks) of the date of childbirth. 
  • Employees must normally notify their Line Manager of their intention to take paternity leave not later than during the 15th week before the Expected Week of Confinement.
Due to statutory changes and the implementation of Shared Parental Leave, the Paternity Leave policy is under review. Please note that whilst Ordinary Paternity Leave will remain the right to take up to 26 weeks, Additional Paternity Leave has been abolished. Additional paternity leave is being replaced by Shared Parental Leave. Additional Paternity Leave will continue to be available only in relation to babies due before 5 April 2015, and children placed for adoption (or for overseas adoptions, who enter Great Britain) before 5 April 2015.
If you have any queries please contact your HR Manager in the first instance.


For employees who are in the process of adopting a child, for more information please see the University's Adoption Policy

Flexible working

If you are thinking about requesting a change of your working hours on your return from Maternity Leave, there is a statutory procedure that must be followed. You can find full details of what you need to do in the Flexible Working Policy. For more information see: Flexible Working Policy