Skip navigation to content

Parental leave policy

  1. Introduction
  2. Who can take parental leave?
  3. How much leave can I take?
  4. When can I take leave?
  5. What periods of leave can be taken?
  6. How do I apply for leave?
  7. Recording parental leave
  8. Queries relating to parental leave rights
  9. Application for parental leave form


Parental Leave gives parents the right to unpaid time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for the child’s welfare. Leave may also be taken through the University’s Special Leave Policy. This policy is inclusive of same-sex parents.  If you require any further advice please contact Human Resources on Ext. 3096 or e-mail

Who can take parental leave?

It is available to any member of staff who has parental responsibilities for a child. In order to qualify for parental leave you must have one years’ continuous service with the University. You may be requested to provide evidence of parental responsibility, e.g. birth or adoption certificate.

How much leave can I take?

You can take up to 18 weeks unpaid leave for each child. Each parent has the right to take parental leave for each child. If the University employs both parents, it would not be expected that both parents would take the same period of leave.

When can I take leave?

  • If your child was born or adopted on or after 15 December 1999 you can take your period of leave within 5 years from the date of birth or adoption of the child.
  • Parents of a child with a disability can take their leave up to the child’s eighteenth birthday.

What periods of leave can be taken?

The minimum period of leave that may be taken is 1 week or single days for children with disabilities.

The maximum period of leave that can be taken in any year is 4 weeks (based on your normal working pattern).

The year will run from the date on which the employee became entitled to the leave.

How do I apply for leave?

You should complete a Parental Leave Application Form (PDF, 10 KB), which includes the dates you wish to take leave. Please note that you must give the University 21 days notice.

The request for leave will normally be granted. However, there may be occasions where it would be unduly disruptive for leave to be taken and in these cases the leave may be postponed.

If leave has to be postponed you will be consulted and your Head of School/Unit will agree a date for you to take the leave within six months from your original request.

Your Head of School/Unit will confirm the reason for the postponement and details of the new dates in writing within 7 days of your original request.

Leave cannot be postponed where the requested leave is immediately after the birth or adoption of a child but 21 days notice should still be given (if reasonably practicable).

Recording parental leave

Any periods of time off for Parental Leave will be recorded by Human Resources.

Queries relating to parental leave rights

General queries - Contact Human Resources on ext. 3096 or email

Queries relating to leave periods - Contact your line manager and Head of School/Unit.

If you are dissatisfied with any decision made in respect of this policy you should contact Human Resources and your Head of School/Unit in the first instance.

If you are unable to resolve any issues with regard to parental leave you can instigate the University's formal Grievance Procedure. A copy of the Grievance Procedure can be obtained from Human Resources.

Application for parental leave form