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If you are new to NDCN and have children, or if you are thinking about starting a family, this page will provide a useful signpost to sources of information and support. 

The University policies on maternity, paternity, adoption and parental emergency apply to all University staff and are very detailed. Please feel free to contact at any point to have a confidential conversation about your plans.

Most awards and grants allow for period of parental leave. Each scheme will have different rules. Please ocntact the research team to enquire about the rules for the grant you are being paid from, and keep informed.

Maternity Leave

Detailed information about maternity leave entitlement and maternity leave forms can be downloaded from the HR Support webpage.

Future mothers may be interested in Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days. Feeling 'out of touch' on returning to work after maternity leave is a common problem. KIT days are a way of enabling women to spend the odd day at work if they want to, while they are on maternity leave. You are allowed a maximum of 10 KIT days during maternity leave and you are entitled to be paid for the work that you do on these days if you are receiving SMP only or you are not receiving pay.

There is a maximum limit of 10 KIT days allowed under the new regulations and once a woman has used up her 10 KIT day and she does any further work, she will lose a week's SMP for the week in the Maternity Pay Period in which she has done that work.

If you wish to do KIT days, you must agree hours and pay with NDCN in advance. You must keep HR informed.

Short-term contracts and maternity leave

If you become pregnant while on a short-term contract and before you have met the required 26 weeks continuous service, you will need to check your statutory rights to maternity leave. Please contact HR if you have any questions.

If you have changed employers, you may have questions regarding who is responsible for your maternity pay. For example, if you are employed as a graduate student in the Department and then receive an individual fellowship you would be classified as having continuous employment with the University because your pay comes via the University payroll. Therefore the University would be responsible for your maternity pay.

But, if you are employed as a graduate student in the Department and then take a position with the NHS, you would no longer be on the University payroll as your pay would now be coming from the NHS, not the University. Therefore if you have not fulfilled the continuous service requirement, the decision on whether to pay you maternity pay would be taken by the NHS.

if you are funded on a grant or a fellowship, take care to check whether your contract will be extended by the length of your maternity leave.

Students and family leave

The Health and Welfare section of the Student Gateway and the Oxford University Student Union website offer more information for student parents. It is also recommended that you contact your Senior Tutor at College.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is an entitlement to time off that may be taken by the biological father or the mother's partner (regardless of gender or marital status) following the birth or adoption of their child. It is intended to support parents in the early stages of a child's life/adoption.

All eligible employees may be able to take one or two weeks' paternity leave which may be available at full pay. Paternity leave must be taken in the first 56 days following the birth or adoption of a child.

Leave must be taken in a single block and employees may choose to take either one or two weeks. It cannot be taken in individual days. Although there is no statutory entitlement to take two separate blocks of one week, the department has discretion to allow you to take your leave as two separate, one-week blocks, subject to operational needs.

The Personnel Services website offers good guidance about Paternity Leave. It is advisable to share your plans with your line manager and the HR team at your earliest convenience.​