1 Your Entitlement to Parental Leave

Employees of the Central Academic Bodies and central activities of the University of London (the "central University") and University staff deployed to Health Education England are entitled to up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave per child if you:

  • have at least one years’ continuous service with the central University;
  • have a child under the age of eight, a child who is disabled and under the age of 18, or a child who was adopted within the past five years and is under the age of 18;
  • have - or expect to have - parental responsibility for the child.

An employee who is the parent or adoptive parent of a child who has been awarded disability living allowance is entitled up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave, which can be taken up to the child's 18th birthday.

Parental leave cannot be transferred between parents.

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2 Your Reasons for Taking Parental Leave

The purpose of parental leave is to care for your child. This means looking after the welfare of your child and can include making medical, developmental and educational arrangements for the good of your child.

Examples of the way parental leave may be used are: 

  • to spend more time with the child in early years; 
  • to accompany a child during a stay in hospital;  
  • checking out new schools for the child;
  • to settle a child into new childcare arrangements;

Please note, any time off to go on holiday with the child should be taken from your paid annual leave entitlement.

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3 Your Rights During Parental Leave

Qualifying employees will be entitled to a maximum of 18 weeks' parental leave to be taken up until the child's eighth birthday (unless the child is adopted or disabled – see Your Entitlement to Parental Leave). During parental leave you will remain employed by the central University, although your pay and the majority of your contractual benefits will be suspended.

Whilst on parental leave you will continue to be entitled to:

  • the implied obligation of trust and confidence;
  • accrue annual leave as specified in your terms and conditions;
  • be entitled to notice of termination as specified in your terms and conditions;
  • redundancy compensation as specified in the central University’s Redundancy Policy; 
  • the central University’s disciplinary or grievance procedures.

Employees taking parental leave will be bound by the implied obligation of good faith, and any terms and conditions of employment relating to:

  • contractual notice of termination;
  • disclosure of confidential information;
  • the acceptance of gifts or other benefits; and
  • participation in any other business.

Occupational Pension

Pensions rights and contributions are as laid down in the rules of the appropriate pension scheme.  

If you are on unpaid parental leave for any full calendar month, membership of the pension scheme is put on suspense.  Life cover may also be suspended during parental leave depending upon the rules of the scheme. 

On your return to work, you have the opportunity to pay extra contributions for any pensionable service missed.

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4 Applying for Parental Leave

You must provide the central University with at least 21 days notice of the period of parental leave that you propose to take. The notice must be given in writing, indicate the reasons why you want to take the leave (see Your Reasons for Taking Parental Leave) and specify the dates on which the period of leave is to begin and end.

The central University may request that you produce evidence as to your entitlement (e.g. parental responsibility or expected responsibility for the child in question; the child's date of birth or date on which placement for adoption began; where the employee is exercising a right in relation to a disabled child, details of the child's entitlement to disability living allowance) prior to agreeing your request to parental leave.

Where you are the father of the child in respect of whom the leave is to be taken and you request parental leave to begin when your child is born, the written notice you give must specify the expected week of childbirth and the duration of the period of leave. You must give this notice at least 21 days before the expected week of childbirth.

Where the parental leave is in respect of an adopted child and is to begin on the date of the placement, you must give written notice to the central University at least 21 days before the beginning of the week in which the child is to be placed for adoption, or as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter. It must specify the week in which the placement is expected to occur and the duration of the period of parental leave requested.

You may not take parental leave in blocks of less than one week (except in relation to a child who is disabled).

You may not take more than four weeks' leave in respect of any individual child in any year. For these purposes a year is the period of 12 months beginning when you first become entitled to parental leave in respect of the child in question, and each successive period of 12 months beginning on the anniversary of that date.

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5 Postponement of Parental Leave

The central University may postpone a period of parental leave (other than where parental leave has been requested immediately after childbirth or immediately after placement for adoption) where the central University considers that its business would be unduly disrupted if you were to take leave during the period requested. In such a case, the central University will allow you to take an equivalent period of parental leave beginning no later than six months after the commencement of the period originally requested. The central University will give notice in writing of the postponement stating the reason for it and specifying suggested dates for the employee to take parental leave. Such notice will be given no more than seven working days after the employee's notice was given to the central University.

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6 Your Return from Parental Leave

At the end of parental leave, you will be entitled to return to the same post provided that the leave was for a period of four weeks or less (and did not follow on immediately from a period of additional maternity or adoption leave). If the period of parental leave was longer than four weeks (or followed on immediately from a period of additional maternity or adoption leave), then you will be entitled to return to the same post or, if that is not practicable, to a similar graded post. 

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Parental Leave [PDF 3pgs 316kb]