The University of Aberdeen is committed to supporting members of staff to help them balance the various demands of both their career and family lives. Additional assistance may be necessary to effectively manage your work/life balance at various stages in your life, and the University’s suite of Family Friendly Policies is designed to address such requirements:

Maternity Leave

The University of Aberdeen is committed to fully supporting you if are pregnant or have just given birth. The Maternity Procedure outlines your rights and responsibilities and also sets out the arrangements for health and safety issues, ante-natal care, pregnancy-related sickness and maternity leave and pay.

You are entitled to receive 52 weeks’ Maternity Leave, irrespective of your length of service with the University (you must take at least two weeks of maternity leave immediately after the birth of your child). The University provides 5 options for maternity leave and pay entitlements, with varying levels of benefits. The options available to you are summarised in the Maternity Procedure (see Appendix 1).

In addition, you may wish to bring your maternity leave to an end early. If you choose to do this the untaken weeks may be taken as Shared Parental Leave by your partner, depending on eligibility.

Procedure and Forms

Guidance for Employees

We have developed the following document to provide further guidance about some of the key aspects of the Maternity Procedure:

The following document summarises the maternity leave and pay options which are available to you:

Paternity / Co-Maternity Leave

The University of Aberdeen is committed to fully supporting members of staff whose partners (including same sex partners) are pregnant or have just given birth or who are adopting children. The Paternity/Co-Maternity Procedure outlines your rights and responsibilities and the paternity/co-maternity leave and pay benefits you can expect to receive.

If you have worked continuously for University for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the child’s expected due date/matching date you may be eligible for:

  • Ordinary paternity leave: Employees will need to take their paternity leave within 56 days of the actual date of birth of the child. The University provides 6 options for paternity/co-maternity leave and pay entitlements, with varying levels of benefits (summarised in Appendix 3 of the Paternity/Co-Maternity Procedure).
  • Shared Parental Leave (replaces Additional Paternity Leave): The opportunity to share 50 weeks’ leave during the child’s first year, if your child was due or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015 (please refer to the Shared Parental Leave page for further guidance).
  • Additional Paternity Leave: Up to 26 weeks’ leave if your child was due or placed for adoption before 5 April 2015 if your child was due or placed for adoption before 5 April 2015.

Procedure and Forms

Guidance for Employees

We have developed the following document to provide further guidance about some of the key aspects of the Paternity/Co-Maternity Procedure:

The options for paternity/co-maternity leave and pay which are available to you are summarised in the following document:

Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave allows eligible parents to choose how to share the care of their child during the first year of birth or adoption. Its purpose is to give parents more flexibility in considering how to best care for, and bond with, their child.

When an eligible mother or adopter chooses to end their maternity or adoption leave early they may take Shared Parental Leave instead. Where both parents satisfy the eligibility tests (please refer to the policy for full details), they will be able to share a maximum of 50 weeks of untaken maternity or adoption leave. Leave must be taken in complete weeks and may be taken in a continuous or discontinuous period. Requests for discontinuous periods of leave will be considered on a case by case basis.

The Shared Parental Leave policy sets out the statutory rights and responsibilities of employees who wish to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and receive Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

Policy and Forms

If you wish to apply for Shared Parental Leave, please complete the appropriate of the following forms:

Guidance for Employees

We have developed the following document to provide further clarification about some of the key aspects of the Shared Parental Leave Policy:

Guidance for Managers

If you are responsible for staff members you are advised to read the following document in preparation for managing Shared Parental Leave requests, workload during the leave and any other queries that arise:

Adoption Leave

The University of Aberdeen is committed to fully supporting you if you are adopting a child. The Adoption Procedure outlines your rights and responsibilities and the adoption leave and pay benefits you can expect to receive. If you are entering into a surrogacy arrangement, you should contact your HR Adviser to discuss the benefits you will be entitled to receive.

All eligible employees are entitled to take up to a maximum of 52 weeks adoption leave regardless of their length of service. The University provides 4 options for adoption leave and pay entitlements, with varying levels of benefits. The options available to you are summarised in the Adoption Procedure (see Appendix 1).

In addition, you may wish to bring your adoption leave to an end early and the untaken weeks maybe taken as Shared Parental Leave by your partner, depending on eligibility (please refer to the Shared Parental Leave policy for full details).

Procedure and Forms

Guidance for Employees

We have developed the following document to provide further guidance about some of the key aspects of the Adoption Procedure:

The options for adoption leave and pay which are available to you are summarised in the following document:

Coaching

The University of Aberdeen is offering coaching to support members of staff who are planning for maternity, paternity or adoption leave. This initiative recognises the potential work-life balance and career development challenges associated with maternity/paternity/adoption leave.

The aim of the maternity/paternity/adoption leave coaching is to contribute to staff wellbeing and organisational success.

Why?

Coaching is being offered to support staff to manage the transitions between work and leave, particularly planning for going on leave and planning for returning to work.

Sessions will allow staff to explore issues relevant to their experiences, including role adjustments and changes related to being part of a new, or extended family. Active listening, observation and questioning are used in coaching to provide a structure and process for exploring goals, resources, opportunities and obstacles.

The coaching is provided under a contract of understanding regarding confidentiality, roles and responsibilities.

Who?

Fiona Begbie, an external coach, provides the coaching. She is a member of the UK Association for Coaching with relevant education, training and experience, including many years working in healthcare, higher education and organisational development and training.

Fiona has experience of coaching people in public, private and voluntary sector organisations with a range of work-health and development issues, including stress management, career/role changes and work-life balance challenges.

How?

  • Coaching can be undertaken at a venue of convenience, not necessarily the University campus.
  • Initial email and phone contact, and/or an informal meeting, can be used to explore the coaching further and to allow staff to determine its potential relevance for you.
  • On-going participation will be at your discretion.
  • Telephone and/or electronic options for coaching can be used if face-to-face meetings are not feasible.

The coaching is confidential and no feedback on the content of any coaching session will be provided for the University. The University will pay for this service.

Evaluation

Individual coaching sessions will be evaluated. Anonymous evaluative feedback on the service will be requested.

Interested?

Please contact Fiona Begbie.

Other Types of Leave (Special Leave, Parental Leave, etc)

If you are unsure what type of leave you require, please refer to this document which contains a variety of time off scenarios matched with the appropriate policies: 

Parental Leave

Parental leave is a right for parents to take time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for the child’s welfare. Parents can use it to spend more time with children and strike a better balance between their work and family commitments.

Please note that all periods of parental leave are unpaid. Parental leave is for each child, so if twins are born, leave may be taken for each child.

For further information, please refer to the Parental Leave Procedure: 

If you wish to apply for Parental Leave, please complete the following form:  

Special Leave

We recognise the need to support employees by providing arrangements for Special Leave, which includes 

  • Compassionate Leave,
  • Bereavement Leave and
  • Urgent Domestic Distress. 

If you wish to request a period of Special Leave, you should contact your Line Manager in the first instance. For full details, please read the Policy on Special Leave:  

Jury Duty

If you are summoned for jury service you should inform your Head of School/Administrative Section as soon as possible. Line Managers should also be kept informed of the expected date(s) of jury duty and the expected return to work date.

When called for Jury duty you should forward the Certificate of Loss of Earnings form to payroll who will complete the relevant section, sign, and stamp the form and return to you for you to make the claim. Before sending the form please complete section 1 and also the work schedule in section 2 if you work part time or shifts.

If you do not have a copy of the form it can be downloaded

  • Certificate of Loss of Earnings - In this case the above noted details need to be sent by email to payroll.
  • If you are not required to attend for Jury Duty you need to advise payroll by email.
  • If you are required to attend court, even though you are not picked as a jury member, you need to advise payroll of the amount of the cheque you receive, less any expenses incurred. Pay the cheque into your bank account and an adjustment will be made on your payslip.

Any queries on this matter should be referred to the HR Adviser for your area.