Unpaid Parental Leave

Updated on 1 June 2020

Outlines the University's policy and procedure on Unpaid Parental Leave

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Policy and Procedure

The University understands that occasionally it may be necessary for a parent to take time off work to be with their children and every effort will be made to accommodate the timing of the request for unpaid parental leave.

Unpaid Parental Leave was provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999 and is supplemented by the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999, as amended from 10 January 2002.

Length of leave

Parents or adopters are able to take up to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave to care for that child. The minimum period of leave must be one week and the leave must be in multiples of complete weeks with up to a maximum of 4 weeks leave in one year. Part-time staff are entitled to leave on a pro rata basis.

Timing of leave

Leave may be taken up until the child's 18th birthday.


In order to qualify, a member of staff must have been employed by the University for a minimum of twelve months.


Requests for leave should be made to the Discipline Lead/Dean/Director as far in advance as possible and normally not less than 21 days before it is required. The Applicant should complete Section 1 of the form and attach a copy of the appropriate evidence, e.g. child's birth certificate and send it to the Discipline Lead/Dean/Director.

The Discipline Lead/Dean/Director has responsibility for completing Section 2 of the Parental Leave Application Form (please refer to form below) and sending a copy to the applicant and Human Resources (for record keeping and Payroll purposes).

Every effort will be made to accommodate the timing of the request for Parental Leave, and any refusal must be justifiable, for example, by the business needs of the Discipline/School/Directorate.

The employee will maintain their employment rights, including those to continuity of service, while on Parental Leave.



Human Resources