The University is committed to supporting good practice in relation to parental rights recognising the value of achieving a gender-diverse workforce and retaining and promoting talent.

In support of this, the University provides parental benefits - including Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) - that are above the statutory minimum.

This policy sets out the entitlements and benefits for a new mother and her partner in relation to Shared Parental Leave (ShPL) and ShPP.

"Partner" means the father of the child, or the person who, at the date of the child's birth, is married to, the civil partner of, or the partner of the mother. This includes someone, of either sex, who lives with the mother and the child in an enduring family relationship but who is not the mother's child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.

The University's Maternity Policy and Procedure continue to apply if the mother does not wish to exercise her rights (with her partner) to ShPL and ShPP.

Ordinary Paternity Leave and Pay continue to be available for fathers and partners. This is a period of 1 or 2 weeks which must be used in a single block of leave and taken within 8 weeks of the birth.


The policy sets out the entitlements and responsibilities in relation to ShPL and ShPP. It applies to all staff and enables mothers, fathers, partners, adopters and in some cases surrogate parents to choose how to share time off after their child is born or placed.

This Policy and Procedure applies to staff of the University, whether they are the mother or the partner. If it is the mother who is employed by the University, her partner must (where relevant) submit any notifications to take ShPL to their own employer, if they want to take a period of ShPL.

Similarly, if it is the partner who is employed by the University, the mother must (where relevant) submit any notifications to take ShPL to her own employer.

The mother and her partner should ensure that they are each liaising with their own employer so that requests for ShPL may be handled as smoothly as possible.

Where both the mother and her partner are employed by the University, this policy covers both.


The policy aims to promote a consistent and supportive approach to ShPL and ShPP across the University and to increase awareness about the provisions available for a new mother and her partner.

It sets out the occupational and statutory shared parental rights, including both ShPL and ShPP to which a new mother and her partner are entitled in the 52 weeks following the birth of a child.

The University recognises that members of staff may have questions or concerns relating to their Shared Parental Leave. It is the University's policy to encourage open discussion with members of staff to ensure that questions and problems may be resolved as quickly as possible. As the Shared Parental Leave provisions are complex, if a member of staff wishes to take Shared Parental Leave, they should clarify the relevant procedures with the HR Advisor for the department to ensure that they are followed correctly.


Shared Parental Leave is designed to give parents more flexibility in how to share the care of their child in the first year following birth or adoption. Parents are able to share a pot of leave, and can decide to be off work at the same time and/or take it in turns to have periods of leave to look after the child.

Shared Parental Leave enables the mother to commit to ending her Maternity Leave and Pay at a future date, and to share the untaken balance of leave and pay as Shared Parental Leave and Pay with her partner, or to return to work early from Maternity Leave and opt into Shared Parental Leave and Pay at a later date.

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  • Last reviewed: 30 April 2015