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Paternity / Partner Support Leave

Policy and Procedure

The University understands that the support of a father, partner or nominated support carer is invaluable when a child is born or adopted.

Paternity/Partner Support Leave was approved by the University Court on 21 May 1996.  

This leave is commonly called Paternity Leave and the current rights to this leave are as stated in the Employment Act 2002 (Ordinary Paternity Leave (OPL)).  University Paternity/Partner Support Leave is available to those who become fathers or in the absence of a father, a partner or nominated support carer. 

Length of Leave and Timing

 Length of Leave 

Two weeks paid leave.  This also applies to multiple births.

Timing of Leave

Paternity/Parental Support Leave can not be taken before the baby is born and it must be taken within 56 days of the birth.  It is however recognised that there may be certain circumstances where this may not be possible and in these circumstances the University will be happy to consider alternative arrangements.  Please contact your HR Officer if you wish to discuss other options.

Eligibility

In order to qualify, a member of staff must have been employed by the University for 26 weeks by the fifteenth week before the expected date of the birth.   No distinction will be drawn between live and still births.  One parent (but not both parents) who adopt a child are also eligible for this leave.  If eligible, an employee may apply for the benefits of maternity leave instead of paternity/maternity support leave or parental leave in addition to paternity/maternity support leave.  Paternity/Maternity Support Leave may not be shared with the mother.

Procedure to Request Paternity/Partner Support Leave

Requests for leave should be made to the Discipline Lead/Dean/Director as far in advance as possible and normally not less than ten working days before it is required.   The expected week of childbirth can be used to apply for leave as far in advance as possible although, given the unpredictable nature of childbirth, it is reasonable to expect that the actual days of taking leave are likely to vary.

The Applicant should complete Section 1 of the Paternity Support Leave Form (available from Human Resources) and attach a copy of the appropriate evidence, e.g. Maternity Certificate (Form MAT B1)/Ante-Natal appointment and send it to the Discipline Lead/Dean/Director.

The Discipline Lead/Dean/Director has responsibility for completing Section 2 of the Form and sending a copy to the Applicant and Human Resources (for record keeping purposes).

Every effort should be made to accommodate the timing of the request.   Where an employee does not have sufficient continuous service to be eligible for paternity/maternity support leave, annual leave should be used.

Members of staff who wish to take more than 2 weeks of Paternity/Maternity Support Leave should arrange to make use of their annual leave entitlement in the normal way through their Discipline Lead/Dean/Director although there is not a requirement that this must be granted.

 

 

Antenatal Appointments

The University recognises that an expectant father, partner or nominated support carer of a pregnant woman may wish to accompany her when she attends antenatal appointments.

An expectant father or in the absence of a father, a partner or nominated support carer is entitled to take unpaid time off work to attend up to two antenatal appointments.  The time off is capped at 6.5 hours for each appointment.

Additional time off to attend antenatal classes can be requested as unpaid or annual leave.

There is no qualifying period and the employee will be eligible from the first day of employment.

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