Maternity, paternity, parental and carer issues group

Published: 21 September 2022

Group chairs Jana Anderson and Elise Whitley update us on recent activity and new initiatives which they hope will be beneficial for colleagues with parental or caring responsibilities

Group chairs Jana Anderson and Elise Whitley update us on recent activity and new initiatives which they hope will be beneficial for colleagues with parental or caring responsibilities.

Photo of baby and parent holding hands with purple background

Our group monitors data on gender-sensitive issues linked to staff who are parents and staff carers. This includes data on the uptake of maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave; the uptake of Keeping in Touch (KIT) days and Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) Days that are available to staff; and we provide questions for the biannual SHW staff culture survey to see if there are any discrepancies by gender/contract type or job family in terms of flexible working arrangements, for example.

Since last year, we were delighted to welcome Donald Lyall and Kirsty Dunn as the new SHW maternity and paternity champions. As recent new parents themselves, they are here to provide informal information, support and advice on matters relating to maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave and the subsequent return to work. They can signpost staff to appropriate sources of information such as the availability of childcare vouchers, nursery provision and flexible working. Staff will be signposted to contact HR for detailed information relevant to their own circumstances, particularly around the relevant leave procedures and entitlements.

You can find more information about the scheme on our webpages

In addition, based on the feedback given by staff carers, our group set up a MS Teams channel for staff carers called SHW peer support for staff carers. This is a private space for current and past staff carers who wish to be part of a peer support group and offer or receive an informal support. It is a safe space to share the highs and lows of being a carer and a source of shared resources that may be of help. We also uploaded a resource containing brief descriptions and links to external support groups for carers and the people they care for, which are available either Scotland-wide or locally, and we invite staff carers to let us know of others that could be added to this.

To join the channel and to find out more, please visit our webpages

Going forward, our focus is to continue monitor gender-sensitive issues linked to staff who are parents and staff carers, including the uptake of the new paid carers leave, and continue to improve the support for our staff with parenting and caring responsibilities.

Jana Anderson and Elise Whitley 
SHW Athena Swan maternity, paternity, parental and carer issues group 

If you would like to join this Athena Swan group, please contact the group chairs – they'd be delighted to hear from you.

First published: 21 September 2022