Ordinary Parental Leave Policy

Ordinary Parental Leave Policy

Ordinary parental leave can be used by parents to take unpaid time off work to look after a child or to make arrangements for a child's welfare. This policy sets out entitlements to ordinary parental leave and the obligations of employees who wish to exercise those entitlements.

1. Introduction

1. Introduction

1.1 Ordinary parental leave can be used by parents to take unpaid time off work to look after a child or to make arrangements for a child's welfare. This policy sets out entitlements to ordinary parental leave and the obligations of employees who wish to exercise those entitlements.

1.2 Ordinary parental leave should not be confused with Shared Parental Leave.

2. Qualifying criteria

2. Qualifying criteria

2.1 To qualify for ordinary parental leave an employee must: 

  • have legal parental responsibility for the child who will be cared for during the time off.
  • have completed at least one years continuous service with the University.

2.2 In addition, the child being cared for during the time off must be under the age of 18.

3. Entitlement

3. Entitlement

3.1 An employee who meets the qualifying criteria will be entitled to up to 18 weeks' ordinary parental leave per child up until the child’s 18th birthday.

3.2 Ordinary parental leave is unpaid.

3.3 Where both parents are employed by the University, each parent is entitled to 18 weeks’ ordinary parental leave for each child.

3.4 Ordinary parental leave may only be taken in blocks or multiples of a week, except where the child has been awarded a disability living allowance in which case ordinary parental leave may be taken one day at a time or in multiples of one day. 

3.5 Eligible employees can take up to four weeks’ ordinary parental leave in any 12 month period.  For these purposes, the 12 month period commences from the date that the employees becomes entitled to ordinary parental leave in respect of the child in question.

4. Applying for Ordinary Parental Leave

4. Applying for Ordinary Parental Leave

4.1 Employees must normally give their line manager at least 21 days’ notice of the requested leave. 

4.2 Requests for ordinary parental leave should be made through Employee Self Service, and should specify the start and end date of the leave period.  

4.3 The request for leave will be authorised (or postponed*) by the line manager through Manager Self Service within 5 working days of receipt of the request.

4.4 Where an employee is making their first request for ordinary parental leave with the University, they may be asked to provide documentary evidence of their parental responsibility such as a copy of the child's birth/adoption certification.

4.5 The appropriate College/University Services HR Team will write out to the member of staff within 5 days of the request being approved to confirm the dates of the leave period and to set out the implications relating to terms and conditions.

*The line manager, following discussions with the relevant College/University Services HR Manager, may postpone the parental leave for up to 6 months where it is considered that the timing of the leave requested would be unduly disruptive to the operation of the School/RI/Service.  Where the decision is taken to postpone the leave, the line manager will explain to the member of staff the reason for the postponement and will consult with them about alternative dates when the leave can be taken. Please note, that ordinary parental leave cannot be postponed where the requested leave is immediately after the birth or adoption of a child.

5. Terms and conditions during/after Ordinary Parental Leave

5. Terms and conditions during/after Ordinary Parental Leave

5.1 Whilst on ordinary parental leave an employee will:

  • retain continuity of employment;
  • be entitled to progress through the normal annual increments on the University’s salary scale in accordance with their terms and conditions of employment; 
  • be entitled to conditions of service relating to notice of termination, redundancy compensation and disciplinary and grievance procedures;
  • not receive pay, and superannuation payments will be suspended during this period*;
  • not accrue annual leave entitlement;
  • not be entitled to sick pay/leave.

5.2 At the end of a period of parental leave (where the leave has been for four weeks or less), the member of staff will generally return to the job in which they were employed prior to the leave. 

*Please note, during this period the member of staff will be treated as a deferred member of the pension scheme (for further information on pension implications please contact Payroll).

6. Policy review

6. Policy review

This policy will be regularly reviewed by the University and may be amended at any time following appropriate consultation.

Approved by the HR Committee August 2011.

Revised March 2015.